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FRANK  CHURCH,  Idaho,  Ohairman  ; 

JOHN  G.  TOWER,  Texas,  Vice  Chairman      f  | 

PHILIP  A.  HART,  Michigan  HOWARD  H.  BAKER,  Jr.,  Teniiessee' 

WALTER  F.  MONDALE,  Minnesota  BARRY  GOLDWATER,  Arizona 

WALITER  D.  HTJDDLESTON,  Kentucky  CHARLES  McC.  MATHIAS,  Jr.,  Maryland 

ROBERT  MORGAN,  North  Carolina  RICHARD  S.  SCHWEIKER,  Pennsylvania 

GARY  HART,  Colorado  ' 

William  G.  Miller,  Staff  Director 

Frederick  A.  O.  Schwarz,  Jr.,  Chief  Counsel 

Curtis  R.  Smothers,  Counsel  to  the  Minority 

Audrey  Hatry,  Clerk  of  the  Committee 



On  behalf  of  the  Senate  Select  Committee  to  Study  Governmental 
Operations  with  Respect  to  Intelligence  Activities,  and  pursuant  to 
the  mandate  of  Senate  Resolution  21,  I  am  transmitting  herewith  to 
the  Senate  the  volume  of  the  Committee's  Final  Report  which  presents 
the  results  of  the  Committee's  investigation  into  Federal  domestic 
intelligence  activities. 

The  Committee's  findings  and  conclusions  concerning  abuses  in  intel- 
ligence activity  and  weaknesses  in  the  system  of  accountability  and 
control  are  amply  documented.  I  believe  they  make  a  compelling  case 
for  substantial  reform.  The  recommendations  section  of  this  volume 
sets  forth  in  detail  the  Committee's  proposals  for  reforms  necessary 
to  protect  the  right  of  Americans.  The  facts  revealed  by  the  Commit- 
tee's inquiry  into  the  development  of  domestic  intelligence  activity  are 
outlined  in  the  balance  of  the  vokune. 

I  would  add  one  principal  comment  on  the  results  of  the  Commit- 
tee's inquiry :  The  root  cause  of  the  excesses  which  our  record  amply 
demonstrates  has  been  failure  to  apply  the  wisdom  of  the  constitu- 
tional system  of  checks  and  balances  to  intelligence  activities.  Our 
experience  as  a  nation  has  taught  us  that  we  must  place  our  trust  in 
laws,  and  not  solely  in  men.  The  founding  fathers  foresaAv  excess  as 
the  inevitable  consequence  of  granting  any  part  of  government  un- 
checked power.  This  has  been  demonstrated  in  the  intelligence  field 
where,  too  often,  constitutional  principles  were  subordinated  to  a  prag- 
matic course  of  permitting  desired  ends  to  dictate  and  justify  improper 

Our  recommendations  are  designed  to  place  intelligence  activities 
within  the  constitutional  scheme  for  controlling  government  power. 

The  members  of  this  Committee  have  served  with  utmost  diligence 
and  dedication.  We  haA^o  had  126  Full  Connnittee  meetings,  scores  of 
other  sessions  at  which  Senators  presided  at  depositions  for  the  tak- 
ing of  testimony,  and  over  40  subcommittee  meetings  devoted  to 
drafting  the  two  volumes  of  our  final  report.  I  thank  each  and  every 
one  of  my  colleagues  for  their  hard  work  and  for  their  <letermina- 
tion  that  the  job  be  done  fully  and  fairly. 

John  Tower's  service  as  Vice  Chairman  was  essential  to  our  effec- 
tiveness from  start  to  finish.  This  inquiry  could  have  been  distracted 
by  partisan  argument  over  allocating  the  blame  for  intelligence  ex- 
cesses. Instead,  we  have  unanimously  concluded  that  intelligence  prob- 
lems are  far  more  fundamental.  They  are  not  the  product  of  any 
single  administration,  party,  or  man. 

At  the  outset  of  this  particular  volume,  special  mention  is  also  due 
to  Senator  Walter  F.  Mondale  for  his  chairmanship  of  the  subcom- 
mittee charged  Avith  drafting  the  final  report  on  domestic  intelligence 
activity.  During  our  hearings.  Senator  Mondale  helped  to  bring  into 
focus  the  threats  posed  to  the  rights  of  American  citizens.  He  and  his 



domestic  subcommittee  colleagues — Senator  Howard  Baker,  as  rank- 
ing Minority  member,  and  Senators  Philip  Hart,  Robert  Morgan  and 
Richard  Schweiker — deserve  great  credit  for  the  complete  and  com- 
pelling draft  which  they  presented  to  the  Full  Committee. 

The  staff  of  the  Committee  has  worked  long,  hard  and  well.  With- 
out their  work  over  the  past  year — and  during  many  long  nights  and 
weekends — the  Committee  could  not  have  come  close  to  coping  with 
its  massive  job.  I  commend  and  thank  them  all.  The  staff  members 
whose  work  was  particularly  associated  with  this  volume  and  its  sup- 
plementary detailed  reports  are  listed  in  Appendix  C, 

Frank  Church, 



In  January  1975,  the  Senate  resolved  to  establish  a  Committee  to: 

conduct  an  investigation  and  study  of  governmental  opera- 
tions with  respect  to  intelligence  activities  and  the  extent,  if 
any,  to  which  illegal,  improper,  or  unethical  activities  were 
engaged  in  by  any  agency  of  the  Federal  Government.^ 

This  Connnittee  was  organized  shortly  thereafter  and  has  conducted 
a  year-long  investigation  into  the  intelligence  activities  of  the  United 
States  Government,  the  first  substantial  inquiry  into  the  intelligence 
community  since  World  War  11. 

The  inquiry  arose  out  of  allegations  of  substantial  wrongdoing  by 
intelligence  agencies  on  behalf  of  the  administrations  which  they 
served.  A  deeper  concern  underlying  the  investigation  was  Avhether  this 
Government's  intelligence  activities  were  governed  and  controlled 
consistently  with  the  fundamental  principles  of  American  constitu- 
tional government — that  power  must  be  checked  and  balanced  and 
that  the  preservation  of  liberty  requires  the  restraint  of  laws,  and 
not  simply  the  good  intentions  of  men. 

Our  investigation  has  confirmed  that  properly  controlled  and  lawful 
intelligence  is  vital  to  the  nation's  interest.  A  strong  and  effective 
intelligence  system  serves,  for  example,  to  monitor  potential  military 
threats  from  the  Soviet  ITnion  and  its  allies,  to  verify  compliance  with 
international  agreements  such  as  SALT,  and  to  combat  espionage  and 
international  terrorism.  These,  and  many  other  necessary  and  proper 
functions  are  performed  by  dedicated  and  hard  working  employees  of 
the  intelligence  community. 

The  Committee's  investigation  has,  however,  also  confirmed  substan- 
tial wrongdoing.  And  it  has  demonstrated  that  intelligence  activities 
have  not  generally  been  governed  and  controlled  in  accord  with  the 
fundamental  principles  of  our  constitutional  system  of  government. 

The  task  faced  by  this  Connnittee  was  to  propose  effective  measures 
to  prevent  intelligence  excesses,  and  at  the  same  time  to  propose  sound 
guidelines  and  oversight  procedures  with  which  to  govern  and  control 
legitimate  activities. 

Having  concluded  its  investigation,  the  Cammitte^  issues  its  reports  ^ 
for  the  purposes  of : 

providing  a  fair  factual  basis  for  informed  Congressional 
and  public  debate  on  critical  issues  affecting  the  role  of  gov- 
ernmental intelligence  activities  in  a  free  society ;  and 

'  Senate  Resolution  21,  January  27,  1975,  Sec.  1.  The  full  text  of  S.  Res.  21  is 
printed  at  Appendix  A. 

^  The  Committee's  final  report  is  divided  into  two  main  volumes.  The  balance 
of  this  volume  covers  domestic  activities  of  intelligence  agencies  and  their  activi- 
ties overseas  to  the  extent  that  they  affect  the  constitutional  rights  of  Americans. 
The  other  volume  covers  all  other  activities  of  United  States  foreign  and  military 
intelligence  agencies. 

The  Committee  has  previously  issued  the  reports  and  hearing  records  set  forth 
in  Appendix  B. 



recommending  such  legislative  and  executive  action  as,  in  the 
judgment  of  the  Committee,  is  appropriate  to  prevent  re- 
currence of  past  abuses  and  to  insure  adequate  coordination, 
control  and  oversight  of  the  nation's  intelligence  resources, 
capabilities,  and  activities. 

A.  The  Committee's  Mandate 

In  elaboration  of  the  broad  mandate  set  forth  at  the  outset  of  this 
Report,  the  Senate  charged  the  Committee  with  investigating  fourteen 
specific  "matters  or  questions"  and  with  reporting  the  "full  facts"  on 
them.  The  fourteen  enumerated  matters  and  questions  concern:  (i) 
what  kind  of  activities  have  been — and  should  be — undertaken  by 
intelligence  agencies;  (ii)  whether  those  activities  conform  to  law 
and  the  Constitution;  and  (iii)  how  intelligence  agencies  have  been — 
and  should  be — coordinated,  controlled  and  overseen.^ 

In  addition  to  investigating  the  "full  facts"  with  respect  to  such 
matters,  the  Committee  was  instructed  to  determine : 

Whether  any  of  the  existing  laws  of  the  United  States  are 
inadequate,  either  in  their  provisions  or  manner  of  enforce- 
ment, to  safeguard  the  rights  of  American  citizens,  to  im- 
prove executive  and  legislative  control  of  intelligence  and 
related  activities  and  to  resolve  uncertainties  as  to  the  au- 
thority of  United  States  intelligence  and  related  agencies. 
[Id.,  Sec.  2  (12)] 

B.  The  Major  Questioits 

Our  investigation  addressed  the  structure,  history,  activities  and 
policies  of  America's  most  important  intelligence  agencies.  The  Com- 
mittee looked  beyond  the  operation  of  individual  agencies  to  examine 
common  themes  and  patterns  inherent  in  intelligence  operations.  In 
the  course  of  its  investigation,  the  Committee  has  sought  to  answer 
three  broad  questions : 

First,  whether  domestic  intelligence  activities  have  been 
consistent  with  law  and  with  the  individual  liberties  guar- 
anteed to  American  citizens  by  the  Constitution, 

Second,  whether  America's  foreign  intelligence  activities 
have  served  the  national  interest  in  a  manner  consistent  with 
the  nation's  ideals  and  with  national  purposes. 

'  S.  Res.  21,  Sec.  2.  Examples  of  the  "matters  or  questions"  include : 

"The  conduct  of  domestic  intelligence  or  counterintelligence  operations  against 
United  States  citizens"  by  the  FBI  or  other  agencies.  [Sec.  2(2)]  ; 

"The  violation  or  suspected  violation  of  law"  by  intelligence  agencies  [Sec. 

Allegations  of  CIA  "domestic"  activity,  and  the  relationship  bet\Aeen  CIA 
responsibility  to  protect  sources  and  methods  and  the  prohibition  of  its  exer- 
cising law  enforcement  powers  or  internal  security  functions  [Sec.  2(1),   (6)]  ; 

"The  origin  and  disposition  of  the  so-called  Huston  Plan"    [Sec.  2(7)  (9)]; 

"The  extent  and  necessity'  of  "covert  intelligence  activities  abroad  [Sec. 

Whether  there  is  excessive  duplication  or  inadequate  coordination  among 
inteUigence  agencies   [Sec.  2(4)  (13)]   and 

The  "nature  and  extent"  of  executive  oversight  [Sec.  2(7)  (9)]  and  the  "need 
for  improved,  strengthened  or  consolidated'  Congressional  oversight  [Sec. 


Third,  whether  the  institutional  procedures  for  directing 
and  controlling  intelligence  agencies  have  adequately  ensured 
their  compliance  with  policy  and  law,  and  whether  those  pro- 
cedures have  been  based  upon  the  system  of  checks  and  bal- 
ances among  the  branches  of  government  required  by  our 

The  Committee  fully  subscribes  to  the  premise  that  intelligence 
agencies  perform  a  necessary  and  proper  function.  The  Preamble  to 
the  Constitution  states  that  our  government  was  created,  in  part,  to 
"insure  domestic  tranquility  [and]  provide  for  the  common  defense." 
Accurate  and  timely  intelligence  can  and  does  help  meet  those  goals. 

The  Committee  is  also  mindful,  however,  of  the  danger  which  in- 
telligence collection,  and  intelligence  operations,  may  pose  for  a  so- 
ciety grounded  in  democratic  principles.  The  Preamble  to  our  Con- 
stitution also  declares  that  our  gover-nment  was  created  to  "secure  the 
blessings  of  liberty''  and  to  "establish  justice".  If  domestic  intelli- 
gence agencies  ignore  those  principles,  they  may  threaten  the  very 
values  that  form  the  foundation  of  our  society.  Similarly,  if  the  gov- 
ernment conducts  foreign  intelligence  operations  overseas  which  are 
inconsistent  with  our  national  ideals,  our  reputation,  goals,  and  in- 
fluence abroad  may  be  undercut. 

C.  The  Nature  or  the  Committee's  Investigation 


Necessarily,  the  Committee  had  to  be  selective.  To  investigate  every- 
thing relevant  to  intelligence — and  even  everything  relevant  to  the 
fundamental  issues  on  which  we  had  decided  to  focus — would  take  for- 
ever. Our  job  was  to  discover — and  suggest  solutions  for — the  major 
problems  "at  the  earliest  practical  date".* 

Accordingly,  the  Committee  had  to  choose  the  particular  Govern- 
mental entities  upon  which  we  would  concentrate  and  then  further 
had  to  choose  particular  cases  to  investigate  in  depth. 

INIany  agencies,  departments  or  bureaus  of  the  Federal  Government 
have  an  intelligence  function.  Of  these,  the  Committee  spent  the  over- 
whelming preponderance  of  its  energies  on  five  : 

The  Federal  Bureau  of  Investigation;  The  Central  Intelli- 
gence Agency ;  The  National  Security  Agency ;  The  national 
intelligence  components  of  the  Defense  Department  (other 
than  NSA)  ;  and  The  National  Security  Council  and  its  com- 
ponent parts.^ 

The  agencies  upon  which  the  Committee  concentrated  are  those 
whose  powers  are  so  great  and  whose  practices  were  so  extensive  that 
they  must  be  undei-stood  in  order  fairly  to  judge  whether  the  intelli- 
gence system  of  the  Ignited  States  needs  reform  and  change. 

Having  selected  the  agencies  to  emphasize,  the  Committee  also  had  to 
select  representative  programs  and  policies  on  which  to  concentrate. 
Theie  were  many  more  possible  issues  and  allegations  to  investigate 

*  S.  Res.  21 :  Sec.  5. 

^  Substantial  work  was  also  done  on  intelligence  activities  of  the  Internal  Reve- 
nue Service  and  the  State  Department. 


than  could  be  covered  fully  and  fairly.  The  principles  which  guided  our 
choices  were: 

(1)  More  is  learned  by  investigating  tens  of  programs  and 
incidents  in  depth  rather  than  hundreds  superficially.  Our 
goal  was  to  understand  causes  and,  where  appropriate,  to  sug- 
gest solutions. 

(2)  Cases  most  likely  to  produce  general  lessons  should 
receive  the  most  attention, 

(3)  Programs  were  examined  from  each  administration 
beginning  with  Franklin  Roosevelt's.  This  assured  under- 
standing of  the  historical  context  within  which  intelligence 
activities  have  developed.  Fundamental  issues  concerning  the 
conduct  and  character  of  the  nation  deserve  nonpartisan 
treatment.  It  has  become  clear  from  our  inquiry,  moreover, 
that  intelligence  excesses,  at  home  and  abroad,  have  been 
found  in  every  administration.  They  are  not  the  product  of 
any  single  party,  administration,  or  man. 


(a)   The  Focus  on  Problem,  Areas 

The  intelligence  community  has  had  broad  responsibility  for  activi- 
ties beyond  those  which  we  investigated  as  possibly  "illegal,  improper, 
or  unethical".  Our  reports  primarily  address  problem  areas  and  the 
command  and  control  question  generallv.  However,  the  intelligence 
community  performs  vital  tasks  outside  the  areas  on  which  our  inves- 
tigation concentrated.  This  point  must  be  kept  in  mind  in  fairness  to 
the  agencies,  and  to  their  employees  who  have  devoted  their  careers  to 
the  nation's  service.  Moreover,  one  of  many  reasons  for  checking:  intel- 
ligence excesses  is  to  restore  the  confidence,  good  name,  and  effective- 
ness of  intelligence  agencies  so  that  they  may  better  serve  the  nation 
in  the  future.^ 

[h)  Caution  on  Questions  of  Individual  ''''Guilt?''  or  '''■Innocence''^ 

A  Senate  Committee  is  not  a  prosecutor,  a  grand  jury  or  a  court.  It 
is  far  better  suited  to  determine  how  things  went  wrong  and  what  can 
be  done  to  prevent  their  going  wrong  again,  than  to  resolve  disputed 
questions  of  individual  "guilt"  or  "innocence".  For  the  resolution  of 
those  questions  we  properly  rely  on  the  courts. 

Of  course,  to  understand  the  past  in  order  to  better  propose  guid- 
ance for  the  future,  the  Committee  had  to  investigate  the  facts  under- 
lying charges  of  wrongdoing.  Facts  involve  people.  Therefore,  the 
Committee  has  necessarily  had  to  determine  what  particular  individ- 
uals appear  to  have  done  and,  on  occasion,  to  make  judgments  on  their 
responsibility.  We  have,  however,  recognized  our  limitations  and  at- 
tempted to  be  cautious  in  reaching  those  judgments ;  the  reader  should 
be  similarly  cautious  in  evaluating  our  judgments. 

The  Committee's  hope  is  that  this  report  wnll  provoke  a  national 
debate  not  on  "Who  did  it?",  but  on  "How  did  it  happen  and  what  can 
be  done  to  keep  it  from  happening  again  ?" 

*  Indeed,  it  is  likely  that  in  some  cases  the  high  priority  ffiven  to  activities  that 
appear  qnestionahle  has  reduced  the  attention  given  to  other  vital  matters.  Thus, 
the  FBI,  for  example,  has  placed  more  emphasis  on  domestic  dissent  than  on  orga- 
nized crime  and,  according  to  some,  let  its  efforts  against  foreign  spies  suffer 
because  of  the  amount  of  time  spent  checking  up  on  American  protest  groups. 


(c)  Ability  to  See  the  Full  Scope  of  the  ProhleTn 

This  Committee  examined  a  very  broad  range  of  issues  and  com- 
piled a  hughe  factual  record  "  which  covers : 

(i)  the  origins  and  development  of  intelligence  programs 
over  seven  administrations ; 

(ii)  intelligence  activities  both  at  home  and  abroad;  and 
(iii)  the  programs  and  practices  of  the  several  most  im- 
portant intelligence  agencies. 

Thus,  for  the  first  time,  based  upon  the  Committee's  investigation,  it 
is  possible  to  examine  the  patterns  of  intelligence  activity  and  not! 
merely  isolated  incidents. 

The  issues  for  the  country  to  resolve  are  best  posed  by  looking,  as 
we  have  done,  at  the  aggregate,  rather  than  at  particular  incidents 
in  isolation.  Neither  the  dangers,  nor  the  causes,  nor  the  possible 
solutions  can  be  fairly  evaluated  without  considering  both  the  broad 
patterns  of  intelligence  activity  which  emerge  from  examining  par- 
ticular cases  over  the  past  several  decades,  and  the  cumulative  effect 
of  activities  of  different  agencies.  For  example,  individual  cases  or 
programs  of  governmental  surveillance  may  constitute  interference 
with  constitutionally  protected  rights  of  privacy  and  dissent.  But 
only  by  examining  the  cumulative  impact  of  many  such  programs 
can  the  danger  of  "Big  Brother  Government"  be  realistically  assessed. 
Only  by  understanding  the  full  breadth  of  governmental  efforts 
against  dissenters  can  one  w^eigh  the  extent  to  w^hich  those  efforts  may 
chill  lawful  assembly  and  free  expression. 

D.  The  Purpose  of  the  Committee's  Findings  and  Recommendations 

The  central  goal  of  the  Committee  is  to  make  informed  recom- 
mendations— based  upon  a  detailed  and  balanced  factual  investiga- 
tion— about : 

(1)  which  intelligence  activities  ought  to  be  permitted,  and 
which  should  be  restricted  or  prohibited ;  and 

(2)  what  controls  and  organizational  structure  are  needed 
to  keep  intelligence  operations  both  effective  and  consistent 
with  this  country's  most  basic  values  and  fundamental  in- 

■^  Some  800  witnesses  were  examined,  approximately  2.50  under  oath  in 
executive  sessions,  50  in  public  sessions,  and  the  balance  in  interviews.  The 
aggregate  number  of  transcript  pages  is  almost  30,000.  Approximately  110,000 
document  pages  were  obtained  from  the  various  intelligence  agencies  (still  more 
were  preliminarily  reviewed  at  the  agencies),  as  well  as  from  the  White  House, 
presidential  libraries,  and  other  sources. 

Over  the  course  of  its  investigation  the  Committee  has  had  generally  good 
cooperation  in  obtaining  information  from  the  intelligence  agencies  and  the  Ad- 
ministration. Of,  there  were  problems,  particularly  at  the  outset — com- 
pliance took  too  long;  bureaucratic  rules  such  as  the  "third  agency  rule"  (which 
required  agencies  other  than  the  custodian  of  the  document  to  review  it  if  they 
were  mentioned)  were  frustrating.  But  our  experience  suggests  that  those  prob- 
lems can  be  worked  out. 

The  most  important  lesson  to  be  derived  from  our  experience  is  that  effective 
oversight  is  impossible  without  regular  access  to  the  underlying  working  docu- 
ments of  the  intelligence  community.  Top  level  briefings  do  not  adequately  de- 
scribe the  realities.  For  that  the  documents  are  a  necessary  supplement  and  at 
times  the  only  source. 

The  first  step  for  this  Committee,  its  successor  oversight  Committees 
and  the  Congress  as  a  whole  is  to  devise  the  legal  framework  within 
which  intelligence  agencies  can,  in  the  future,  be  guided,  checked  and 
operate  both  properly  and  efficiently.  A  basic  law — a  charter  of  pow- 
ers, duties,  and  limitations — does  not  presently  exist  for  some  of  the 
most  important  intelligence  activities  {e.g.^  FBI's  domestic  intelli- 
gence or  NSA)  or,  where  it  does  exist,  as  with  CIA,  it  is  vague,  con- 
flicting and  incomplete. 

The  absence  of  laws  and  the  lack  of  clarity  in  those  that  exist  has 
had  the  effect,  if  not  the  intention,  of  keeping  vital  issues  of  national 
importance  away  from  public  debate. 

This  Committee's  job  was  to  pose  the  issues  that  have  been  ignored 
for  decades.  The  technique  for  doing  so  was  to  investigate  and  then 
to  propose  basic  laws  and  other  rules  as  to  what  can  and  cannot  be 
done,  and  on  the  appropriate  command  and  control  structure  for  in- 
telligence activities. 

There  are  many  other  questions,  such  as  the  efficiency,  cost  and 
quality  of  intelligence,  which  are  also  of  vital  national  importance. 
We  have  also  examined  these  matters  and  consider  them  in  this  re- 
port. But,  the  main  emphasis  of  our  investigation  was  on  what 
should  be  done  and  not  on  how  it  should  be  done.  We  seek  in  our  rec- 
ommendations to  lay  the  underlying  legal  foundation,  and  the  con- 
trol and  oversight  structure  for  the  intelligence  community.  If  these 
are  sound,  then  we  have  faith  that  the  other  questions  will  be  an- 
swered correctly  in  the  future.  But  if  the  foundation  is  unsound  or 
remains  unfinished — or  if  intelligence  agencies  continue  to  operate 
under  a  structure  in  which  executive  power  is  not  effectively  checked 
and  examined — then  we  will  have  neither  quality  intelligence  nor  a 
society  which  is  free  at  home  and  respected  abroad. 



Letter  of  Transmittal iii 

I.  INTRODUCTION  AND"  SUMMARY  I  ]  lllllllllllllllllllllll  1 

A.  Intelligence  Activity:  A  New  Form  of  Governmental  Power 

to  Impair  Citizens'  Rights 2 

B.  The  Questions 4 

C.  Summary  of  the  Main  Problems 5 

1.  The  Number  of  People  Affected  by  Domestic  Intelli- 

gence Activity 6 

2.  Too  Much  Information  Is  Collected  For  Too  Long.  -  7 

3.  Covert  Action  and  the  Use  of   Illegal  or   Improper 

Means 10 

a.  Covert  Action 10 

(1)  The  FBI's  COINTELPRO 10 

(2)  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr 11 

b.  Illegal  or  Improper  Means 12 

(1)  Mail  Opening 12 

(2)  NSA  Monitoring 12 

(3)  Electronic  Surveillance 12 

(4)  Political  Abuse 13 

(5)  Surreptitious  Entries 13 

(6)  Informants 13 

4.  Ignoring  the  Law 13 

5.  Deficiencies  in  Accountability  and  Control 14 

6.  The   Adverse   Impact  of   Improper  Intelligence   Ac- 

tivity    15 

a.  General  Efforts  to  Discredit 15 

b.  Media  Manipulation 15 

c.  Distorting    Data    to    Influence    Government 

Policy  and  Public  Perceptions 16 

d.  "Chilling"  First  Amendment  Rights 17 

e.  Preventing  the  Free  Exchange  of  Ideas 17 

7.  Cost  and  Value 18 


A.  Summary 21 

1 .  The  Lesson :  Historv  Repeats  Itself 21 

2 .  The  Pattern :  Broadening  Through  Time 21 

3.  Three  Periods  of  Growth  for  Domestic  Intelligence. .-  22 

B.  Establishing  a  Permanent  Domestic  Intelligence  Structure: 

1936-1945 23 

1.  Background:  The  Stone  Standard 23 

2.  Main  Developments  of  the  1936-1945  Period 24 

3.  Domestic  Intelligence  Authority:  Vague  and  Conflict- 

ing Executive  Orders 24 

a.  The  Original  Roosevelt  Orders 25 

b.  Orders  in  1938-39:  The  Vagueness  of  "Sub- 

versive Activities"  and  "Potential"  Crimes-  25 

c.  Orders  1940-43:  The  Confusion  Continues- _.  27 

4.  The  Role  of  Congress 28 

a.  Executive  Avoidance  of  Congress 28 

b.  Congress  Declines  to  Confront  the  Issue 29 




B.  Establishing  a  Permanent  Domestic  Intelligence  Structure — 

1936-1945  Continued  Page 

5.  Scope  of  Domestic  Intelligence 30 

a.  Beyond  Criminal  Investigations 30 

b.  "Infiltration"  Investigations 31 

c.  Partisan  Use 33 

d.  Centralized    Authority:    FBI    and    Military 

Intelligence 33 

6.  Control  by  the  Attorney   General:  Compliance  and 

Resistance 34 

7.  Intrusive  Techniques :  Questionable  Authorization 36 

a.  Wiretaps:   A  Strained   Statutory   Interpreta- 

tion   36 

b.  Bugging,    Mail    Opening,    and    Surreptitious 

Entry 38 

C.  Domestic  Intelligence  in  the  Cold  War  Era:  1946-1963 38 

1.  Main  Developments  of  the  1946-1963  Period 38 

2.  Domestic  Intelligence  Authority 40 

a.  Anti-Communist  Consensus 40 

b.  The  Federal  Employee  Loyalty-Security  Pro- 

gram    42 

(1)  Origins  of  the  Program 42 

(2)  Breadth  of  Investigations 43 

(3)  FBI  Control  of  Loyalty-Security  In- 

vestigations    44 

c.    Executive    Directives:    Lack    of     Guidance    and 

Controls 45 

3.  Scope  of  Domestic  Intelligence 46 

a.  "Subversive  Activities" 46 

(1)  The  Number  of  Investigations 47 

(2)  Vague  and  Sweeping  Standards 47 

(3)  COMINFIL 48 

(4)  Exaggeration      of      Communist     In- 

fluence   49 

b.  "Racial  Matters"  and  "Hate  Groups" 50 

c.  FBI     Political    Intelligence    for    the    White 

House 51 

d.  IRS  Investigation  of  Political  Organizations.-  53 

4.  Accountability  and  Control 54 

a.  Emergency  Detention  Act 54 

b.  Withholding  Information 55 

c.  CIA  Domestic  Activity 56 

(1)  Vague  Controls  on  CIA 56 

(2)  Drug  Testing  and  Cover  Programs.  _  56 

5.  Intrusive  Techniques 58 

a.  Communication  Interception:  CIA  and  NSA.  58 

b.  FBI  Covert  Techniques 60 

(1)  Electronic  Surveillance 60 

(2)  "Black  Bag"  Jobs 61 

(3)  Mail  Opening 62 

c.  Use  of  FBI  Wiretaps 62 

6.  Domestic  Covert  Action 65 

a.  COINTELPRO:  Communist  Party 65 

b.  Early  Expansion  of  COINTELPRO 67 

D.  Intelligence  and  Domestic  Dissent:  1964-1976 67 

1.  Main  Points  During  the  1964-1976  Period 67 

2.  Scope  of  Domestic  Intelligence 70 

a.  Domestic  Protest  and  Dissent:  FBI 7o 

(1)  Racial  Intelligence 71 

(2)  "New  Left"  Intelligence 72 

b.  FBI  Informants 74 

(1)  Infiltration  of  the  Klan 74 


D.  Intelligence  and  Domestic  Dissent:  1964-1976 — Continued 

2.  Scope  of  Domestic  Intelligence — Continued 

b.  FBI  Informants — Continued 

(2)  "Listening  Posts"  in  the  Black  Com-  Page 

munity 75 

(3)  Infiltration  of  the  "New  Left" 76 

c.  Army     Surveillance     of     Civilian     Political 

Activity 77 

d.  Federal     Encouragement     of     Local     Police 

Intelligence 77 

e.  The   Justice  Department's  Interdivision  In- 

formation Unit  (IDIU) 78 

f.  COMINFIL  Investigations:  Overbreadth 81 

3.  Domestic  Intelligence  Authority 82 

a.  FBI  Intelligence 82 

b.  Army  Intelligence 84 

c.  FBI  Interagency  Agreements 85 

4.  Domestic  Covert  Action 86 


(1)  Klan  and  "White  Hate" 86 

(2)  "Black  Nationalist"  COINTELPRO  87 

(3)  "New  Left"  COINTELPRO 88 

b.  FBI  Target  Lists 89 

(1)  "Rabble  Rouser/ Agitator"  Index.  _  89 

(2)  "Key  Activist"  Program 90 

(3)  "Key  Black  Extremist"  Program 91 

(4)  Security  Index 91 

c.  Internal  Revenue  Service  Programs 93 

(1)  Misuse  by  FBI  and  CIA 93 

(2)  The  Special  Service  Staff:   IRS  Tar- 

geting of  Ideological  Groups 94 

5.  Foreign  Intelligence  and  Domestic  Dissent 96 

a.  Origins  of  CIA  Involvement  in  "Internal  Se- 

curity Functions" 96 

b.  CIA    Intelligence   About    Domestic   Political 

Groups 98 

(1)  CIA  Response  to  FBI  Requests 98 

(2)  Operation  CHAOS 99 

c.  CIA  Security  Operations  Within  the  United 

States :  Protecting  "Sources"  and  "Methods" _  102 

d.  NSA  Monitoring 104 

6.  Intrusive  Techniques 104 

a.  Warrantless  Electronic  Surveillance 105 

(1)  Executive    Branch    Restrictions    on 

Electronic  Surveillance:  1965-68.. _  105 

(2)  Omnibus  Crime  Control  Act  of  1968.  106 

(3)  Supreme  Court  Restrictions  on  Na- 

tional Security  Electronic  Surveil- 
lance: 1972 107 

b.  CIA  Mail  Opening 107 

c.  Expansion  of  NSA  Monitoring 108 

d.  FBI  Cutbacks 109 

(1)  The   Long   Subcommittee   Investiga- 

tion   109 

(2)  Director  Hoover's  Restrictions 110 

7.  Accountability  and  Control 111 

a.  The   Huston   Plan:   A   Domestic   Intelligence 

Network 111 

(1)  Intelligence  Community  Pressures 112 

(2)  The  Interagency  Committee  Report-.  113 

(3)  Implementation 115 



D.  Intelligence  and  Domestic  Dissent:  1964-1976 — Continued 

7.  Accountability  and  Control — Continued  P'lge 

b.  Political  Intelligence 116 

(1)  Name  Check  Requests 116 

(2)  Democratic  National  Convention,  At- 

lantic City,  1964 117 

(3)  By-Product   of    Foreign    Intelligence 

Coverage 119 

(4)  The    Surveillance    of    Joseph    Kraft 

(1969) 121 

(5)  The  "17"  Wiretaps 122 

c.  The   Justice   Department's   Internal  Security 

Division 1 122 

(1)  The  "new"  Internal  Security  Division.  123 

(2)  The  SuUivan-Mardian  Relationship..  124 

d.  The  FBI's  Secret  "Administrative  Index" 125 

8.   Reconsideration  of  FBI  Authority 127 

a.  Developments  in  1972-1974 128 

b.  Recent  Domestic  Intelligence  Authority 131 

III.  FINDINGS! .' 137 

A.  Major  Finding:  Violating  and  Ignoring  the  Law 137 

Subfindings : 

(a)  Violating    Statutory    Law    and    Constitutional 

Rights 139 

(b)  Ignoring  Illegal  Issues 140 

(c)  Continuing  Legal  Activities 141 

(d)  Tightening  Security  for  Illegal  Activities 146 

(e)  Concealing  Illegal  Activities 149 

(f)  Weakness  of  Internal  Inspection 152 

(g)  Weakness  of  Oversight  by  Senior  Administration 

Officials 157 

B.  Major  Finding:  The  Overbreadth  of  Domestic  Intelligence 

Activity 165 

Subfindings : 

(a)  Broad  Scope  of  Investigations 167 

(b)  Imprecise  Standards  for  Investigations 169 

(c)  Overinclusive  Targeting 172 

(d)  "Vacuum  Cleaner"  Approach 178 

(e)  Excessively  Long  Investigations 179 

C.  Major  Finding:  Excessive  Use  of  Intrusive  Techniques 183 

Subfindings : 

(a)  Insufficient  Legal  Standards  and  Procedures 185 

(b)  Excessive  Collection  Coupled  with  Violent  and 

Illegal  Activities  of  Informants  and  Difficulty 

of  Limiting  Surveillance 192 

(c)  Imprecise    Labels    Lead    to    Abusive    Use    of 

Techniques 205 

D.  Major  Finding:  Using  Covert  Action  to  Disrupt  and  Dis- 

credit Domestic  Groups 211 


(a)  Targeting  Law- Abiding  Citizens 213 

(b)  Interference  With  First  Amendment  Rights 214 

(c)  Dangerous  Covert  Tactics 216 

(d)  Actions  Against  Dr.  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr 219 

E.  Major  Finding:  Political  Abuse  of  IntelUgence  Information.-  225 

Subfindings : 

(a)  Political  Intelligence  for  the  White  House 226 

(b)  Dissemination  of  Incidental  Political  or  Personal 

Information 232 

(c)  Volunteering  Information  to  the  White  House 

and  Targeting  Critics  and  Political  Figures..  237 

(d)  Influencing  Social  Policy  and  Political  Action..  240 


III.  FINDINGS— Continued:  "Page 

F.  Major  Finding:  Inadequate  Controls  on  Dissemination  and 

Retention 253 

Subfindings : 

(a)  Volunteering    Irrelevant    Information    and    re- 

sponding Unquestioningly  to  Requests 254 

(b)  Excessive  Dissemination 259 

(c)  Federal  Employee  Security  Program 261 

(d)  FBI   Retention  of   Sensitive,    Derogatory,  and 

Illegally  Obtained  Information 262 

G.  Major  Finding:  Deficiencies  in  Control  and  Accountability.-       265 

Subfindings : 

(a)  Presidential     Failure     to     Limit     and    Control 

Intelligence  Activities 267 

(b)  Attorneys  General  Failure  to  Limit   and    Con- 

trol FBI  Intelligence  Activities 270 

(c)  Encouraging  Political  Intelligence 274 

(d)  Executive  Failures  to  Inquire 275 

(e)  Congressional    Failure   to    Oversee   Intelligence 

Activity  and  Exert  Legislative  Control 277 

(f)  Intelligence     Agencies     Act     with     Insufficient 

Authorization 281 

(g)  Termination  of  Abusive  Operations 284 


A.  Conclusions 289 

B.  Principles  Applied  in  Framing   Recommendations  and  the 

Scope  of  Recommendations 292 

C.  Recommendations 296 

1.  Intelligence  Agencies  Are  Subject  to  the  Rule  of  Law 

(Recommendations  1-3) 296 

2.  United  States  Foreign  and  Military  Agencies  Should 

Be  Precluded  From  Domestic  Security  Activities 
(Recommendations  4-27) 297 

a.  Central   Intelligence   Agency    (Recommenda- 

tions 4-13) 297 

b.  National  Security  Agency  (Recommendations 

14-19) 308 

c.  Military    Service    and    Defense    Department 

Investigative   Agencies    (Recommendations 
20-26) 310 

3.  Non-Intelligence   Agencies  Should   Be   Barred  From 

Domestic  Security  Activity  (Recommendations 
27-37) 313 

a.  Internal  Revenue  Service  (Recommendations 

27-35) 313 

b.  Post  Office  (U.S.  Postal  Service)  (Recommen- 

dations 36-37) 315 

4.  Federal    Domestic    Security    Activities    Should    Be 

Limited  and  Controlled  to  Prevent  Abuses  Without 
Hampering  Criminal  Investigations  or  Investiga- 
tions of  Foreign  Espionage  (Recommendations 
38-69) 316 

a.  Centralize     Supervision,     Investigative     Re- 

sponsibility, and  the  Use  of  Covert  Tech- 
niques   (Recommendations  38-39) 316 

b.  Prohibitions  (Recommendations  40-41) 317 

c.  Authorized  Scope  of   Domestic   Security  In- 

vestigations (Recommendations  42-49) 318 

d.  Authorized    Investigative    Techniques    (Rec- 

ommendations 50-63) 324 

e.  Maintenance  and  Dissemination  of  Informa- 

tion (Recommendations  64-68) 330 

f.  Attorney     General     Oversight    of    the     FBI, 

Including  Termination  of  Investigations  and 
Covert  Techniques  (Recommendation  69) __       332 



C.  Recommendations — Continued 

5.  The   Responsibility  and  Authority  of  the   Attorney 

General  for  Oversight  for  Federal  Domestic  Security 
Activities  must  be  clarified  and  General  Counsel  and 
Inspectors  General  of  Intelligence  Agencies 
Strengthened    (Recommendations    70-86) 332 

a.  Attorney    General   Responsibility   and    Rela- 

ship     With     Other     Intelligence     Agencies 
(Recommendations  70-74) 333 

b.  General   Counsel  and   Inspectors    General  of 

Intelligence     Agencies     (Recommendations 
75-81) 333 

c.  Office  of  Professional  Responsibility  (Recom- 

mendation 82) 335 

d.  Director  of  the  FBI  and  Assistant  Directors 

of  the  FBI  (Recommendations  83-85) 335 

6.  Administrative  Rulemaking  and  Increased  Disclosure 

Should    Be    Required     (Recommendations 
86-89) 336 

a.  Administrative    Rulemaking    (Recommenda- 

tions 86-88) 336 

b.  Disclosure  (Recommendations  89-90) 336 

7.  Civil  Remedies  Should  Be  Expanded  (Recommenda- 

tion 91) 336 

8.  Criminal    Penalties    Should    Be    Enacted    (Recom- 

mendation 92) 338 

9.  The  Smith  Act  and  the  Voorhis  Act  Should  Either  Be 

Repealed  or  Amended  (Recommendation  93) 339 

10.  The     Espionage     Statute     Should     Be     Modernized 

(Recommendation  94) 339 

11.  Broaden  Access  to  Intelligence  Agency  Files  Should 

Be  Provided  to  GAO,  as  an  Investigative  Arm  of 

the  Congress  (Recommendation  95) 339 

12.  Congressional     Oversight     Should     Be     Intensified 

(Recommendation  96) 339 

13.  Definitions 339 

Appendix  A:  Senate  Resolution  21 343 

Appendix  B:  Previously  Issued  Hearings  and  Reports  of  Senate  Select 

Committee 355 

Appendix  C:  Staff  Acknowledgments 357 

Additional  Views : 

Philip  A.  Hart 359 

Robert  Morgan 363 

Introduction  to  Separate  Views  of  Senators  John  G.  Tower,  Howard 

H.  Baker,  Jr.,  and  Barry  Goldwater 367 

John  G.  Tower 369 

Howard  H.  Baker,  Jr 373 

Barry  Goldwater 389 

Charles  McC.  Mathias,  Jr 395 


The  resolution  creating  this  Committee  placed  greatest  emphasis 
on  whether  intelligence  activities  threaten  the  "rights  of  American 
citizens."  ^ 

The  critical  question  before  the  Committee  was  to  determine  how 
the  fundamental  liberties  of  the  people  can  be  maintained  in  the 
course  of  the  Government's  effort  to  protect  their  security.  The  deli- 
cate balance  between  these  basic  goals  of  our  system  of  government  is 
often  difficult  to  strike,  but  it  can,  and  must,  be  achieved.  We  reject 
the  view  that  the  traditional  American  principles  of  justice  and  fair 
play  have  no  place  in  our  struggle  against  the  enemies  of  freedom. 
Moreover,  our  investigation  has  established  that  the  targets  of  intelli- 
gence activity  have  ranged  far  beyond  persons  who  could  properly 
be  characterized  as  enemies  of  freedom  and  have  extended  to  a  wide 
array  of  citizens  engaging  in  lawful  activity. 

Americans  have  rightfully  been  concerned  since  before  World 
War  II  about  the  dangers  of  hostile  foreign  agents  likely  to  commit 
acts  of  espionage.  Similarly,  the  violent  acts  of  political  terrorists  can 
seriously  endanger  the  rights  of  Americans.  Carefully  focused  intelli- 
gence investigations  can  help  prevent  such  acts. 

But  too  often  intelligence  has  lost  this  focus  and  domestic  intelli- 
gence activities  have  invaded  individual  privacy  and  violated  the  rights 
of  lawful  assembly  and  political  expression.  Unless  new  and  tighter 
controls  are  established  by  legislation,  domestic  intelligence  activities 
threaten  to  undermine  our  democratic  society  and  fundamentally  alter 
its  nature. 

We  have  examined  three  types  of  "intelligence"  activities  affecting 
the  rights  of  American  citizens.  The  first  is  intelligence  collection — • 
such  as  infiltrating  groups  with  informants,  wiretapping,  or  opening 
letters.  The  second  is  dissemination  of  material  which  has  been  col- 
lected. The  third  is  covert  action  designed  to  disrupt  and  discredit 
the  activities  of  groups  and  individuals  deemed  a  threat  to  the  social 
order.  These  three  types  of  "intelligence"  activity  are  closely  related 
in  the  practical  world.  Information  which  is  disseminated  by  the  in- 
telligence community^  or  used  in  disruptive  programs  has  usually 
been  obtained  through  surveillance.  Nevertheless,  a  division  between 
collection,  dissemination  and  covert  action  is  analytically  useful  both 
in  understanding  why  excesses  have  occurred  in  the  past  and  in  de- 
vising remedies  to  prevent  those  excesses  from  recurring. 

^S.  Res.  21.  sec.  2(12).  The  Senate  specifically  charged  this  Committee  with 
Investigating  "the  conduct  of  domestic  intelligence  or  counterintelligence  op- 
erations against  United  States  citizens."  (Sec.  2(2))  The  resolution  added 
several  examples  of  specific  charges  of  possible  "illegal,  improper  or  unethical" 
governmental  intelligence  activities  as  matters  to  be  fully  investigated  (Sec.  (2) 
(1)— CIA  domestic  activities  ;  Sec.  (2)  (.S)— Huston  Plan  :  Sec.  (2)  (10)— .surrep- 
titous  entries,  electronic  surveillance,  mail  opening.) 

^  Just  as  the  term  "intelligence  activity"  activities  that  go  far 
beyond  the  collection  and  analysis  of  information,  the  term  "intelligence  com- 
munity" includes  persons  ranging  from  the  President  to  the  lowest  field  opera- 
tives of  the  intelligence  agencies. 


68-786  O  -  76  -  2 

A.  Intelligence  Activity:  A  Neio  Forrrh  of  G^av elemental  Power  to  Im- 
pair Citizens'  Rights 

A  tension  between  order  and  liberty  is  inevitable  in  any  society.  A 
Government  must  protect  its  citizens  from  those  bent  on  engaging  m 
violence  and  criminal  behavior,  or  in  espionage  and  other  hos- 
tile foreign  intelligence  activity.  Many  of  the  intelligence  prograrns 
reviewed  in  this  report  were  established  for  those  purposes.  Intelli- 
gence work  has,  at  times,  successfully  prevented  dangerous  and  abhor- 
rent acts,  such  as  bombings  and  foreign  spying,  and  aided  in  the 
prosecution  of  those  responsible  for  such  acts. 

But,  intelligence  activity  in  the  past  decades  has,  all  too  often, 
exceeded  the  restraints  on  the  exercise  of  governmental  power  which 
are  imposed  by  our  country's  Constitution,  laws,  and  traditions. 

Excesses  in  the  name  of  protecting  security  are  not  a  recent  develop- 
ment in  our  nation's  history.  In  1798,  for  example,  shortly  after  the 
Bill  of  Rights  was  added  to  the  Constitution,  the  Alien  and  Sedition 
Acts  were  passed.  These  Acts,  passed  in  response  to  fear  of  pro- 
French  "subversion",  made  it  a  crime  to  criticize  the  Government.^ 
During  the  Civil  War,  President  Abraham  Lincoln  suspended  the 
writ  of  habeas  corpus.  Hundreds  of  American  citizens  were  prose- 
cuted for  anti-war  statements  during  World  War  I,  and  thousands  of 
"radical"  aliens  were  seized  for  deportation  during  the  1920  Palmer 
Raids.  During  the  Second  World  War,  over  the  opposition  of  J.  Edgar 
Hoover  and  military  intelligence,*  120,000  Japanese- Americans  were 
apprehended  and  incarcerated  in  detention  camps. 

Those  actions,  however,  were  fundamentally  different  from  the 
intelligence  activities  examined  by  this  Committee.  They  were  gener- 
ally executed  overtly  under  the  authority  of  a  statute  or  a  public 
executive  order.  The  victims  knew  what  was  being  done  to  them  and 
could  challenge  the  Government  in  the  courts  and  other  forums.  Intel- 
ligence activity,  on  the  other  hand,  is  generally  covert.  It  is  concealed 
from  its  victims  ^  and  is  seldom  described  in  statutes  or  explicit  execu- 

^  The  Alien  Act  provided  for  the  deportation  of  all  aliens  judged  "dangerous 
to  the  peace  and  safety"  of  the  nation.  (1  Stat.  570,  June  25,  1798)  The  Sedi- 
tion Act  made  it  a  federal  crime  to  publish  "false,  scandalous  and  malicious 
writing"  against  the  United  States  government,  the  Congress,  or  the  President 
with  the  intent  to  "excite  against  them"  the  "hatred  of  the  good  people  of  the 
United  States"  or  to  "encourage  or  abet  any  hostile  designs  of  any  foreign 
nation  against  the  United  States."  (1  Stat.  596,  July  14,  1798)  There  were  at 
least  25  arrests,  15  indictments,  and  10  convictions  under  the  Sedition  Act. 
(See  James  M.  Smith,  Freedom's  Fetters:  The  Alien  and  Sedition  Laws  and 
American  Civil  Liberties  (Ithaca  :  Cornell  U.  Press,  1956).) 

*  Francis  Biddle,  In  Brief  Authority  (Garden  City:  Doubleday,  1962),  p.  224; 
Roger  Daniels.  Concentration  Camps  USA:  Japanese  Americans  and  World 
War  II  (New  York  :  Holt,  Rinehart,  and  Winston,  1971),  p.  66. 

°  Many  victims  of  intelligence  activities  have  claimed  in  the  past  that  they 
were  being  subjected  to  hostile  action  by  their  government.  Prior  to  this  investi- 
gation, most  Americans  would  have  dismissed  these  allegations.  Senator  Philip 
Hart  aptly  described  this  phenomenon  in  the  course  of  the  Committee's  public 
hearings  on  domestic  intelligence  activities  : 

"As  I'm  sure  others  have,  I  have  been  told  for  years  by,  among  others,  some 
of  my  own  family,  that  this  is  exactly  what  the  Bureau  was  doing  all  of  the 
time,  and  in  my  great  wisdom  and  high  oflBce,  I  assured  them  that  they  were 
[wrong] — it  just  wasn't  true,  it  couldn't  happen.  They  wouldn't  do  it.  What 
you  have  described   is  a  series  of  illegal  actions  intended  squarely   to  deny 

tive  orders.  The  victim  may  never  suspect  that  his  misfortunes  are  the 
intended  result  of  activities  undertaken  by  his  government,  and  accord- 
ingly may  have  no  opportunity  to  challenge  the  actions  taken  against 

It  is,  of  course,  proper  in  many  circumstances — such  as  developing 
a  criminal  prosecution — for  the  Government  to  gather  information 
about  a  citizen  and  use  it  to  achieve  legitimate  ends,  some  of  which 
might  be  detrimental  to  the  citizen.  But  in  criminal  prosecutions,  the 
courts  have  struck  a  balance  between  protecting  the  rights  of  the 
accused  citizen  and  protecting  the  society  which  suffers  the  conse- 
quences of  crime.  Essential  to  the  balancing  process  are  the  rules  of 
criminal  law  which  circumscribe  the  techniques  for  gathering  evi- 
dence,^ the  kinds  of  evidence  that  may  be  collected,  and  the  uses  to 
which  that  evidence  may  be  put.  In  addition,  the  criminal  defendant 
is  given  an  opportunity  to  discover  and  then  challenge  the  legality  of 
how  the  Government  collected  information  about  him  and  the  use 
which  the  Government  intends  to  make  of  that  information. 

This  Committee  has  examined  a  realm  of  governmental  informa- 
tion collection  which  has  not  been  governed  by  restraints  comparable 
to  those  in  criminal  proceedings.  We  have  examined  the  collection 
of  intelligence  about  the  political  advocacy  and  actions  and  the  private 
lives  of  American  citizens.  That  information  has  been  used  covertly  to 
discredit  the  ideas  advocated  and  to  "neutralize"  the  actions  of  their 
proponents.  As  Attorney  General  Harlan  Fiske  Stone  warned  in  1924, 
when  he  sought  to  keep  federal  agencies  from  investigating  "political 
or  other  opinions"  as  opposed  to  "conduct  .  .  .  forbidden  by  the  laws" : 

When  a  police  system  passes  beyond  these  limits,  it  is  dan- 
gerous to  the  proper  administration  of  justice  and  to  human 
liberty,  which  it  should  be  our  first  concern  to  cherish. 

.  .  .  There  is  always  a  possibility  that  a  secret  police  may 
become  a  menace  to  free  government  and  free  institutions  be- 
cause it  carries  with  it  the  possibility  of  abuses  of  power 
which  are  not  always  quickly  apprehended  or  understood.^ 

Our  investigation  has  confirmed  that  warning.  We  have  seen  seg- 
ments of  our  Government,  in  their  attitudes  and  action,  adopt  tactics 
unworthy  of  a  democracy,  and  occasionally  reminiscent  of  the  tactics 
of  totalitarian  regimes.  We  have  seen  a  consistent  pattern  in  which 
programs  initiated  with  limited  goals,  such  as  preventing  criminal 

First  Amendment  rights  to  some  Americans.  That  is  what  my  children  have 
told  me  was  going  on.  Now  I  did  not  believe  it. 

"The  trick  now,  as  I  see  it,  Mr.  Chairman,  is  for  this  committee  to  be  able 
to  figure  out  how  to  persuade  the  people  of  this  country  that  indeed  it  did 
go  on.  And  how  shall  we  insure  that  it  will  never  happen  again?  But  it  will 
happen  repeatedly  unless  we  can  bring  ourselves  to  understand  and  accept 
that  it  did  go  on."  Senator  Philip  Hart,  11/18/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  41. 

'As  the  Supreme  Court  noted  in  Miranda  v.  Arizona,  384  U.S.  436,  ^^83.  486 
(1966),  even  before  the  Court  required  law  oflScers  to  advise  criminal  suspects 
of  their  constitutional  rights  before  custodial  interrogation,  the  FBI  had  "an 
exemplary  record"  in  this  area — a  practice  which  the  Court  said  should  be 
"emulated  by  state  and  local  law  enforcement  agencies."  This  commendable  FBI 
tradition  in  the  general  field  of  law  enforcement  presents  a  sharp  contrast  to  the 
widespread  disregard  of  individual  rights  in  FBI  domestic  intelligence  opera- 
tions examined  in  the  balance  of  this  Report. 

^  New  York  Times,  5/13/24. 


violence  or  identifying  foreign  spies,  were  expanded  to  what  wit- 
nesses characterized  as  "vacuum  cleaners'',^  sweeping  in  information 
about  lawful  activities  of  American  citizens. 

The  tendency  of  intelligence  activities  to  expand  beyond  their 
initial  scope  is  a  theme  which  runs  through  every  aspect  of  our  investi- 
gative findings.  Intelligence  collection  programs  naturally  generate 
ever-increasing  demands  for  new  data.  And  once  intelligence  has  been 
collected,  there  are  strong  pressures  to  use  it  against  the  target. 

The  pattern  of  intelligence  agencies  expanding  the  scope  of  their 
activities  was  well  described  by  one  witness,  who  in  1970  had  coordi- 
nated an  effort  by  most  of  the  intelligence  community  to  obtain 
authority  to  undertake  more  illegal  domestic  activity: 

The  risk  was  that  you  would  get  people  who  would  be  sus- 
ceptible to  political  considerations  as  opposed  to  national 
security  considerations,  or  would  construe  political  considera- 
tions to  be  national  security  considerations,  to  move  from 
the  kid  with  a  bomb  to  the  kid  with  a  picket  sign,  and  from 
the  kid  with  the  picket  sign  to  the  kid  with  the  bumper 
sticker  of  the  opposing  candidate.  And  you  just  keep  going 
down  the  line.^ 

In  1940,  Attorney  General  Eobert  Jackson  saw  the  same  risk.  He 
recognized  that  using  broad  labels  like  "national  security"  or  "sub- 
version" to  invoke  the  vast  power  of  the  government  is  dangerous 
because  there  are  "no  definite  standards  to  determine  what  constitutes 
a  'subversive  activity',  such  as  we  have  for  murder  or  larceny."  Jack- 
son added: 

Activities  which  seem  benevolent  or  helpful  to  wage  earners, 
persons  on  relief,  or  those  who  are  disadvantaged  in  the  strug- 
gle for  existence  may  be  regarded  as  'subversive'  by  those 
whose  property  interests  might  be  burdened  thereby.  Those 
who  are  in  office  are  apt  to  regard  as  'subversive'  the  activi- 
ties of  any  of  those  who  would  bring  a'bout  a  change  of  ad- 
ministration. Some  of  our  soundest  constitutional  doctrines 
were  once  punished  as  subversive.  We  must  not  forget  that  it 
was  not  so  long  ago  that  both  the  term  'Republican'  and  the 
term  'Democrat'  were  epithets  with  sinister  meaning  to  de- 
note persons  of  radical  tendencies  that  were  'subversive'  of 
the  order  of  things  then  dominant.^" 

This  wise  warning  was  not  heeded  in  the  conduct  of  intelligence 
activity,  where  the  "eternal  vigilance"  which  is  the  "price  of  liberty" 
has  been  forgotten. 

B.  The  Questions 

We  have  directed  our  investigation  toward  answering  the  follow- 
ing questions : 

Which  governmental  agencies  have  engaged  in  domestic  spying? 

How  many  citizens  have  been  targets  of  Governmental  intelligence 
activity  ? 

^  Mary  Jo  Cook  testimony,  12/2/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  Ill ;  James  B.  Adams 
testimony,  12/2/75.  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  135. 

*  Tom  Charles  Huston  testimony,  9/23/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  2,  p.  45. 

10  "The  Federal  Prosecutor",  Journal  of  the  American  Judicature  Society 
(June,  1940),  p.  18. 

What  standards  have  governed  the  opening  of  intelligence  investiga- 
tions and  when  have  intelligence  investigations  been  terminated? 

Where  have  the  targets  fit  on  the  spectrum  between  those  who  com- 
mit violent  criminal  acts  and  those  who  seek  only  to  dissent  peacefully 
from  Government  policy  ? 

To  what  extent  has  the  information  collected  included  intimate 
details  of  the  targets'  personal  lives  or  their  political  views,  and  has 
such  information  been  disseminated  and  used  to  injure  individuals? 

What  actions  beyond  surveillance  have  intelligence  agencies  taken, 
such  as  attempting  to  disrupt,  discredit,  or  destroy  persons  or  groups 
who  have  been  the  targets  of  surveillance  ? 

Have  intelligence  agencies  been  used  to  serve  the  political  aims  of 
Presidents,  other  high  officials,  or  the  agencies  themselves  ? 

How  have  the  agencies  responded  either  to  proper  orders  or  to  exces- 
sive pressures  from  their  superiors  ?  To  what  extent  have  intelligence 
agencies  disclosed,  or  concealed  them  from,  outside  bodies  charged 
with  overseeing  them  ? 

Have  intelligence  agencies  acted  outside  the  law?  What  has  been 
the  attitude  of  the  intelligence  community  toward  the  rule  of  law  ? 

To  what  extent  has  the  Executive  branch  and  the  Congress  con- 
trolled intelligence  agencies  and  held  them  accountable  ? 

Generally,  how  well  has  the  Federal  system  of  checks  and  balances 
between  the  branches  worked  to  control  intelligence  activity? 

C.  Summary  of  the-  Main  Problems 

The  answer  to  each  of  these  questions  is  disturbing.  Too  many  people 
have  been  spied  upon  by  too  many  Government  agencies  and  to  much 
information  has  beeen  collected.  The  Government  has  often  undertaken 
the  secret  surveillance  of  citizens  on  the  basis  of  their  political  beliefs, 
even  when  those  beliefs  posed  no  threat  of  violence  or  illegal  acts  on 
behalf  of  a  hostile  foreign  power.  The  Government,  operating  pri- 
marily through  secret  informants,  but  also  using  other  intrusive 
techniques  such  as  wiretaps,  microphone  "bugs",  surreptitious  mail 
opening,  and  break-ins,  has  swept  in  vast  amounts  of  information 
about  the  personal  lives,  views,  and  associations  of  American  citizens. 
Investigations  of  groups  deemed  potentially  dangerous — and  even 
of  groups  suspected  of  associating  with  potentially  dangerous  orga- 
nizations—have continued  for  decades,  despite  the  fact  that  those 
groups  did  not  engage  in  unlawful  activity.  Groups  and  individuals 
have  been  harassed  and  disrupted  because  of  their  political  views  and 
their  lifestyles.  Investigations  have  been  based  upon  vague  stand- 
ards whose  breadth  made  excessive  collection  inevitable.  Unsavory  and 
vicious  tactics  have  been  employed— including  anonymous  attempts 
to  break  up  marriages,  disrupt  meetings,  ostracize  persons  from  their 
professions,  and  provoke  target  groups  into  rivalries  that  might 
result  in  deaths.  Intelligence  agencies  have  served  the  political  and 
personal  objectives  of  presidents  and  other  high  officials.  While  the 
agencies  often  committed  excesses  in  response  to  pressure  from  high 
officials  in  the  Executive  branch  and  Congress,  they  also  occa- 
sionally initiated  improper  activities  and  then  concealed  them  from 
officials  whom  they  had  a  duty  to  inform. 

Governmental  officials — including  those  whose  principal  duty  is  to 
enforce  the  law — have  violated  or  ignored  the  law  over  long  periods 
of  time  and  have  advocated  and  defended  their  right  to  break  the  law. 

The  Constitutional  system  of  checks  and  balances  has  not  adequately 
controlled  intelligence  activities.  Until  recently  the  Executive  branch 
has  neither  delineated  the  scope  of  permissible  activities  nor  estab- 
lished procedures  for  supervising  intelligence  agencies.  Congress  has 
failed  to  exercise  sufficient  oversight,  seldom  questioning  the  use  to 
which  its  apropriations  were  being  put.  Most  domestic  intelligence 
issues  have  not  reached  the  courts,  and  in  those  cases  when  they  have 
reached  the  courts,  the  judiciary  has  been  reluctant  to  grapple  with 

Each  of  these  points  is  briefly  illustrated  below,  and  covered  in  sub- 
stantially greater  detail  in  the  following  sections  of  the  report. 

1.  The  Number  of  People  Affected  hy  Domestic  Intelligerwe 

United  States  intelligence  agencies  have  investigated  a  vast  num- 
ber of  American  citizens  and  domestic  organizations.  FBI  headquar- 
ters alone  has  developed  over  500,000  domestic  intelligence  files," 
and  these  have  been  augmented  by  additional  files  at  FBI  Field  Offices. 
The  FBI  opened  65,000  of  these  domestic  intelligence  files  in  1972 
alone.^2  In  fact,  substantially  more  individuals  and  groups  are  subject 
to  intelligence  scrutiny  than  the  number  of  files  would  appear  to 
indicate,  since  typically,  each  domestic  intelligence  file  contains  in- 
formation on  more  than  one  individual  or  group,  and  this  information 
is  readily  retrievable  through  the  FBI  General  Name  Index. 

The  number  of  Americans  and  domestic  groups  caught  in  the  domes- 
tic intelligence  net  is  further  illustrated  by  the  following  statistics : 

— Nearly  a  quarter  of  a  million  firet  class  letters  were 
opened  and  photographed  in  the  United  States  by  the  CIA 
between  1953-1973,  producing  a  CIA  computerized  index  of 
nearly  one  and  one-half  million  names.^^ 

— At  least  130,000  first  class  letters  were  opened  and  photo- 
graphed by  the  FBI  between  1940-1966  in  eight  U.S.  cities.^^ 

— Some  300,000  individuals  were  indexed  in  a  CIA  com- 
puter system  and  separate  files  were  created  on  approximately 
7,200  Americans  and  over  100  domestic  groups  during  the 
course  of  CIA's  Operation  CHAOS    (1967-1973).^^ 

— ]\iillions  of  private  telegrams  sent  from,  to,  or  through 
the  United  States  were  obtained  by  the  National  Security 
Agency  from  1947  to  1975  under  a  secret  arrangement  with 
three  United  States  telegraph  companies.^*' 

— An  estimated  100,000  Americans  were  the  subjects  of 
United  States  Army  intelligence  files  created  between  the 
mid-1960's  and  1971.^^ 

— Intelligence  files  on  more  than  11,000  individuals  and 
groups  were  created  by  the  Internal  Kevenue  Service  between 

"  Memorandum  from  the  FBI  to  the  Senate  Select  Committee,  10/6/75. 

"  Memorandum  from  the  FBI  to  the  Senate  Select  Committee,  10/6/75. 

"  James  Angleton  testimony,  9/17/75,  p.  28. 

"  See  Mail  Opening  Report :  Section  IV,  "FBI  Mail  Openings." 

^^  Chief,  International  Terrorist  Group  testimony.  Commission  on  CIA  Activi- 
ties Within  the  United  States,  3/10/75.  pp.  1485-1489. 

"'  Statement  by  the  Chairman,  11/6/75 ;  re :  SHAMROCK,  Hearings,  Vol.  5, 
pp.  57-60. 

"  See  Military  Surveillance  Report :  Section  II,  "The  Collection  of  Information 
a,bout  the  Political  Activities  of  Private  Citizens  and  Private  Organizations." 

1969  and  1973  and  tax  investigations  were  started  on  the  basis 
of  political  rather  than  tax  criteria.^^ 

— At  least  26,000  individuals  were  at  one  point  catalogued 
on  an  FBI  list  of  persons  to  be  rounded  up  in  the  event  of  a 
"national  emergency".^^ 

2.  Too  Much  Information  Is  Collected  For  Too  Long 
Intelligence  agencies  have  collected  vast  amounts  of  information 
about  the  intimate  details  of  citizens'  lives  and  about  their  participa- 
tion in  legal  and  peaceful  political  activities.  The  targets  of  intelli- 
gence activity  have  included  political  adherents  of  the  right  and  the 
left,  ranging  from  activitist  to  casual  supporters.  Investigations  have 
been  directed  against  proponents  of  racial  causes  and  Avomen's  rights, 
outspoken  apostles  of  nonviolence  and  racial  hannony ;  establishment 
}X)]iticians;  religious  groups;  and  advocates  of  new  life  styles.  The 
widespread  targeting  of  citizens  and  domestic  groups,  and  the  exces- 
sive scope  of  the  collection  of  information,  is  illustrated  by  the  fol- 
lowing examples : 

(a)  The  "Women's  Liberation  Movement"  was  infiltrated  by  in- 
formants who  collected  material  about  the  movement's  policies,  leaders, 
and  individual  members.  One  report  included  the  name  of  every 
woman  who  attended  meetings,^"  and  another  stated  that  each  woman 
at  a  meeting  had  described  "how  she  felt  oppressed,  sexually  or  other- 
wise".^^ Another  report  concluded  that  the  movement's  purpose  was 
to  "free  women  from  the  humdrum  existence  of  being  only  a  wife  and 
mother",  but  still  recommended  that  the  intelligence  investigation 
should  be  continued.^^ 

(b)  A  prominent  civil  rights  leader  and  advisor  to  Dr.  Martin 
Luther  King,  Jr.,  was  investigated  on  the  suspicion  that  he  might  be 
a  Communist  "sympathizer".  The  FBI  field  office  concluded  he  was 
not.2^  Bureau  headquarters  directed  that  the  investigation  continue — 
using  a  theory  of  "guilty  until  proven  innocent :" 

The  Bureau  does  not  agree  with  the  expressed  belief  of  the 

field  office  that ^*  is  not  sympathetic  to  the 

Party  cause.  While  there  may  not  be  any  evidence  that 

is  a  Communist  neither  is  there  any  substantial 

evidence  that  he  is  anti-Communist.^^ 

(c)  FBI  sources  reported  on  the  formation  of  the  Conservative 
American  Christian  Action  Council  in  1971.^^  In  the  1950's,  the  Bu- 
reau collected  information  about  the  John  Birch  Society  and  passed 

^^  See  IRS  Report :  Section  II,  "Selective  Enforcement  for  Nontax  Purposes." 

"  Memorandum  from  A.  H.  Belmont  to  L.  V.  Boardman,  12/8/54.  Many  of  the 
memoranda  cited  in  this  report  were  actually  written  by  FBI  personnel  other 
than  those  whose  names  were  indicated  at  the  foot  of  the  document  as  the  author. 
Citation  in  this  report  of  specific  memoranda  by  using  the  names  of  FBI  personnel 
which  so  appear  is  for  documentation  purposes  only  and  is  not  intended  to  presume 
authorship  or  even  knowledge  in  all  cases. 

^  Memorandum  from  Kansas  City  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  10/20/70. 
(Hearings.  Vol.  6,  Exhibit  54-3) 

^  Memorandum  from  New  York  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  5/28/69, 
p.  2.  (Hearings,  Vol.  6,  Exhibit  54-1) 

^  Memorandum  from  Baltimore  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  5/11/70, 
p.  2. 

^  Memorandum  from  New  York  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  4/14/64. 

"*  Name  deleted  by  Committee  to  protect  privacy. 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  New  York  Field  Office  4/24/64,  re 
CPUSA,  Negro  question. 

^'  James  Adams  testimony,  12/2/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  137. 


it  to  the  White  House  because  of  the  Society's  "scurillous  attack"  on 
President  Eisenhower  and  other  high  Government  olhcials.^' 

(d)  Some  investigations  of  tiie  lawiul  activities  of  peaceful  groups 
have  continued  for  decades.  For  example,  the  NAACP  was  investi- 
gated to  determine  whether  it  "had  comiections  with"  the  Communist 
Party.  The  investigation  lasted  for  over  twenty-five  years,  although 
nothing  was  found  to  rebut  a  report  during  the  first  year  of  the  investi- 
gation that  the  NAACP  had  a  "strong  tendency"  to  "steer  clear  of 
Communist  activities."  ^®  Similarly,  the  FBI  has  admitted  that  the 
Socialist  Workers  Party  has  committed  no  criminal  acts.  Yet  the 
Bureau  has  investigated  the  Socialist  Workers  Party  for  more  than 
three  decades  on  the  basis  of  its  revolutionary  rhetoric--which  the 
FBI  concedes  falls  short  of  incitement  to  violence — and  its  claimed 
international  links.  The  Bureau  is  currently  using  its  informants  to 
collect  information  about  SWP  members'  political  views,  including 
those  on  "U.S.  involvement  in  Angola,"  "food  prices,"  "racial  mat- 
ters," the  "Vietnam  War,"  and  about  any  of  their  efforts  to  support 
non-SWP  candidates  for  political  office.'^ 

(e)  National  political  leaders  fell  within  the  broad  reach  of  in- 
telligence investigations.  For  example,  Army  Intelligence  maintained 
files  on  Senator  Adlai  Stevenson  and  Congressman  Abner  Mikva 
because  of  their  participation  in  peaceful  political  meetings  under  sur- 
veillance by  Army  agents.^"  A  letter  to  Kichard  Nixon,  while  he  was  a^ 
candidate  for  President  in  1968,  was  intercepted  under  CIA's  mail 
opening  program.^^  In  the  1960's  President  Johnson  asked  the  FBI  to 
compare  various  Senators'  statements  on  Vietnam  with  the  Commu- 
nist Party  line  ^^  and  to  conduct  name  checks  on  leading  antiwar  Sena- 

(f)  As  part  of  their  effort  to  collect  information  which  "related 
even  remotely"  to  people  or  groups  "active"  in  communities  which  had 
"the  potential"  for  civil  disorder.  Army  intelligence  agencies  took 
such  steps  as:  sending  agents  to  a  Halloween  party  for  elementary 
school  children  in  Washington,  D.C.,  because  they  suspected  a  local 
"dissident"  might  be  present ;  monitoring  protests  of  welfare  mothers' 
organizations  in  Milwaukee ;  infiltrating  a  coalition  of  church  youth 
groups  in  Colorado;  and  sending  agents  to  a  priests'  conference  in 
Washington,  D.C.,  held  to  discuss  birth  control  measures.^^ 

(g)  In  the  late  1960's  and  eaHy  1970's.  student  groups  were  sub- 
jected to  intense  scrutinv.  In  1970  the  FBI  ordered  invest! <Tations  of 
everv  member  of  the  Students  for  a  Democratic  Societv  and  of  "every 
Black  Student  ITnion  and  similar  group  regardless  of  their  past  or 

^Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumsardner  to  William  C.  Sullivan.  5/29/63. 

^  Memorandum  from  Oklahoma  City  Field  Offipe  to  FBT  Headquarters.  9/19/41. 
See  Development  of  FBI  Domestic  Intelligence  Investigations  :  Section  IV,  "FBI 
Target  Lists." 

=®  Chief  Robert  Shackleford  testimony,  2/6/76.  p.  91. 

^"Senate  Judiciary  Subcommittee  on  Constitutional  Ri.<^hts.  Report.  1973,  p.  57. 

^  Senate  Select  Committee  Staff  summary  of  HTLINGUAL  File  Review, 

^  FBI  Summary  Memorandum.  1/31/75,  re :  Coverage  of  T.V.  Presentation. 

^  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Marvin  Watson,  7/15/66. 

**  See  Military  Report :  Sec.  II,  "The  Collection  of  Information  About  the  Po- 
litical Activities  of  Private  Citizens  and  Private  Organizations." 

present  involvement  in  disorders."  ^^  Files  were  opened  on  thousands  of 
young  men  and  women  so  that,  as  the  former  head  of  FBI  intelligence 
explained,  the  information  could  be  used  if  they  ever  applied  for  a 
government  job.^^ 

In  the  196U's  Bureau  agents  were  instructed  to  mcrease  their  efforts 
to  discredit  "New  Left"  student  demonstrators  by  tactics  including 
publishing  photographs  ("naturally  the  most  obnoxious  picture 
should  be  used"),^'  using  "misinformation"  to  falsely  notify  members 
events  had  been  cancelled,^^  and  writing  "tell-tale"  letters  to  students' 

(h)  The  FBI  Intelligence  Division  commonly  investigated  any  in- 
dication that  "subversive"  groups  already  under  investigation  were 
seeking  to  influence  or  control  other  groups.*"  One  example  of  the  ex- 
treme breadth  of  this  "infiltration"  theory  was  an  FBI  instruction  in- 
the  mid-1960's  to  all  Field  Offices  to  investigate  every  "free  university" 
because  some  of  them  had  come  under  "subversive  influence."  *^ 

(i)  Each  administration  from  Franklin  D.  Roosevelt's  to  Richard 
Nixon's  permitted,  and  sometimes  encouraged,  government  agencies  to 
handle  essentially  political  intelligence.  For  example : 

— President  Roosevelt  asked  the  FBI  to  put  in  its  files  the  names  of 
citizens  sending  telegrams  to  the  White  House  opposing  his  "national 
defense"  policy  and  supporting  Col.  Charles  Lindbergh.*^ 

— President  Truman  received  inside  information  on  a  former 
Roosevelt  aide's  efforts  to  influence  his  appointments,*^  labor  union 
negotiating  plans,**  and  the  publishing  plans  of  journalists.*^ 

— President  Eisenhower  received  reports  on  purely  political  and 
social  contacts  with  foreign  officials  by  Bernard  Baruch,*^  Mrs.  Eleanor 
Roosevelt,*^   and    Supreme   Court   Justice   William    O.    Douglas.*^'' 

— The  Kennedy  Administration  had  the  FBI  wiretap  a  Congres- 
sional staff  member,*^  three  executive  officials,*^  a  lobbyist,^"  and  a 
Washington  law  firm.^^  Attorney  General  Robert  F.  Kennedy  received 
the  fruits  of  a  FBI  "tap"  on  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr. ,^2  ^nd  a  "bug" 
on  a  Congressman  both  of  which  yielded  information  of  a  political 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  headquarters  to  all  SAC's,  11/4/70. 
''  Charles  Brennan  testimony,  9/25/75,  Hearings,  vol.  2  p.  117. 
^^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SAC's,  7/5/68. 
^Abstracts  of  New  Left  Documents  #161.  115,  43.  Memorandum  from  Wash- 
ington Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  1/21/69. 
^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Cleveland  Field  Office,  11/29/68. 
^°  FBI  Manual  of  Instructions,  Sec.  87,  B(2-f ). 

"  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  San  Antonio  Field  Office,  7/23/69. 
*^  Memorandum  from  Stephen  Early  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  5/21/40 ;  6/17/40. 
^^  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  George  Allen,  12/3/46. 
**  Letter  from  .7.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Maj.  Gen.  Harry  Vaughn,  2/15/47. 
^  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  M.  J.  Connelly,  1/27/50. 
**  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Dillon  Anderson,  11/7/55. 
"  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Robert  Cutler,  2/13/58. 
""  Letters  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Robert  Cutler,  4/21/53-4/27/53. 
^  Memorandum  from  .1.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General.  2/16/61. 
*  Memorandtmi  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General.  2/14/61. 
"Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  2/16/61. 
^  Memorandum  from  ,1.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General  6/26/62. 
^  Memorandum  from  Charles  Brennan  to  William  Sullivan,  12/19/66. 
"Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  2/18/61. 


— President  Johnson  asked  the  FBI  to  conduct  "name  checks"  of 
his  critics  and  of  members  of  the  staff  of  his  1964  opponent,  Senator 
Barry  Goldwater.^*  He  also  requested  purely  political  intelligence  on 
his  critics  in  the  Senate,  and  received  extensive  intelligence  reports  on 
political  activity  at  the  1964  Democratic  Convention  from  FBI  elec- 
tronic surveillance.^^ 

— President  Nixon  authorized  a  program  of  wiretaps  which  pro- 
duced for  the  White  House  purely  political  or  personal  information 
unrelated  to  national  security,  including  information  about  a  Supreme 
Court  justice.^^ 

3.  Covert  Action  and  the  Use  of  IJIegal  or  Imjyroper  Means 

(a)  Covert  Action. — Apart  from  uncovering  excesses  in  the  collec- 
tion of  intelligence,  our  investigation  has  disclosed  covert  actions  di- 
rected against  Americans,  and  the  use  of  illegal  and  improper  surveil- 
lance techniques  to  gather  information.  For  example : 

(i)  The  FBI's  COINTELPRO— counterintelligence  program— was 
designed  to  "disrupt"  groups  and  "neutralize"  individuals  deemed  to 
be  threats  to  domestic  security.  The  FBI  resorted  to  counterintelli- 
gence tactics  in  part  because  its  chief  officials  believed  that  the  existing 
law  could  not  control  the  activities  of  certain  dissident  groups,  and 
that  court  decisions  had  tied  the  hands  of  the  intelligence  community. 
Whatever  opinion  one  holds  about  the  policies  of  the  targeted  groups, 
many  of  the  tactics  employed  by  the  FBI  were  indisputably  degrading 
to  a  free  society.  COINTELPRO  tactics  included : 

— Anonymously  attacking  the  political  beliefs  of  targets  in  order 
to  induce  their  employers  to  fire  them ; 

— Anonymously  mailing  letters  to  the  spouses  of  intelligence  targets 
for  the  purpose  of  destroying  their  marriages ;  ^^ 

— Obtaining  from  IRS  the  tax  returns  of  a  target  and  then  attempt- 
ing to  provoke  an  IRS  investigation  for  the  express  purpose  of  de- 
terring a  protest  leader  from  attending  the  Democratic  National 
Convention ;  ^^ 

— Falsely  and  anonymously  labeling  as  Government  informants 
members  of  groups  known  to  be  violent,  thereby  exposing  the  falsely 
labelled  member  to  expulsion  or  physicial  attack ;  ^^ 

— Pursuant  to  instructions  to  use  "misinformation"  to  disrupt 
demonstrations,  employing  such  means  as  broadcasting  fake  orders 
on  the  same  citizens  band  radio  frequency  used  by  demonstration 
marshalls  to  attempt  to  control  demonstrations.*^"  and  duplicating  and 
falsely  filling  out  forms  soliciting  housing  for  persons  coming  to  a 
demonstration,  thereby  causing  "long  and  useless  journeys  to  locate 
these  addresses" ;  ^^ 

^*  Memorandum  f  roni  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Bill  Moyers.  10/27/64. 

^Memorandum  from  C.  D.  DeLoach  to  .John  Mohr,  8/29/64. 

^  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  H.R.  Haldeman.  6/25/70. 

"  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarter.?,  to  San  Francisco  Field  Office, 

^Memorandum  from  [Midwest  City]  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters, 
8/1/68 ;  memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  [Midwest  City]  Field  Office, 

°^  Memorandum  from  Columbia  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  11/4/70,  re : 

^  Memorandum  from  Charles  Brennan  to  William  Sullivan.  8/15/68. 

*^  Memorandum  from  Chicago  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  9/9/68. 


— Sending  an  anonymous  letter  to  the  leader  of  a  Chicago  street 
gang  (described  as  "violence-prone")  stating  that  the  Black  Panthers 
were  supposed  to  have  "a  hit  out  for  you".  The  letter  was  suggested 
because  it  "may  intensify  .  .  .  animosity"  and  cause  the  street  gang 
leader  to  "take  retaliatory  action".®^ 

(ii)  From  "late  1963"  until  his  death  in  1968,  Martin  Luther  King, 
Jr.,  Avas  the  target  of  an  intensive  campaign  by  the  Federal  Bureau  of 
Investigation  to  "neutralize"  him  as  an  effective  civil  rights  leader. 
In  the  words  of  the  man  in  charge  of  the  FBI's  "war"  against  Dr. 
King,  "No  holds  were  barred."  ^^ 

The  FBI  gathered  information  about  Dr.  King's  plans  and  activi- 
ties through  an  extensive  surveillance  program,  employing  nearly 
every  intelligence-gathering  technique  at  the  Bureau's  disposal  in 
order  to  obtain  information  about  the  "private  activities  of  Dr.  King 
and  his  advisors"  to  use  to  "completely  discredit"  them.^^ 

The  program  to  destroy  Dr.  King  as  the  leader  of  the  civil  rights 
movement  included  efforts  to  discredit  him  with  Executive  branch 
officials,  Congressional  leaders,  foreign  heads  of  state,  American  am- 
bassadors, churches,  universities,  and  the  press.®^ 

The  FBI  mailed  Dr.  King  a  tape  recording  made  from  microphones 
hidden  in  his  hotel  rooms  which  one  agent  testified  was  an  attempt 
to  destroy  Dr.  King's  marriage.^®  The  tape  recording  was  accompanied 
by  a  note  which  Dr.  King  and  his  advisors  interpreted  as  threatening 
to  release  the  tape  recording  unless  Dr.  King  committed  suicide.^^ 

The  extraordinary  nature  of  the  campaign  to  discredit  Dr.  King  is 
evident  from  two  documents : 

— At  the  August  1963  March  on  Washington,  Dr.  King  told  the 
country  of  his  "dream"  that : 

all  of  God's  children,  black  men  and  white  men,  Jews  and 
Gentiles,  Protestants  and  Catholics,  will  be  able  to  join  hands 
and  sing  in  the  words  of  the  old  Negro  spiritual,  "Free 
at  last,  free  at  last,  thank  God  Almightly,  I'm  free  at  last." 

The  Bureau's  Domestic  Intelligence  Division  concluded  that  this 
"demagogic  speech"  established  Dr.  King  as  the  "most  dangerous 
and  effective  Negro  leader  in  the  country."  ®^  Shortly  afterwards,  and 
within  days  after  Dr.  King  was  named  "Man  of  the  Year"  by  Time 
magazine,  the  FBI  decided  to  "take  him  off  his  pedestal,"  reduce  him 
completely  in  influence,"  and  select  and  promote  its  own  candidate 
to  "assume  the  role  of  the  leadership  of  the  Negro  people."  ^^ 

— In  early  1968,  Bureau  headquarters  explained  to  the  field  that  Dr. 
King  must  be  destroyed  because  he  was  seen  as  a  potential  "messiah" 
who  could  "unify  and  electrify"  the  "black  nationalist  movement". 
Indeed,  to  the  FBI  he  was  a  potential  threat  because  he  might  "aban- 

'- Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Chicago  Field  Office,  1/30/69  re: 
COTNTELPRO,  Black  Nationalist-Hate  Groups. 

•"William  C.  Sullivan  testimony,  11/1/75,  p.  49. 

**  Memorandum  from  Baum.cardner  to  Sullivan,  2/4/64. 

'^Memorandum  from  Chicago  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  12/16/68; 
memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Chicago  Field  Office,  1/30/69,  re: 
COINTELPRO.  Black  Nationalist-Hate  Groups. 

•^William  C.  Sullivan,  11/1/7.5.  pp.  104-105. 

"  Andrew  Young  testimony,  2/19/76.  p.  8. 

**  Memorandum  from  Sullivan  to  Belmont.  8/30/63. 

**  Memorandum  from  Sullivan  to  Belmont,  1/8/64. 


don  his  supposed  'obedience'  to  white  liberal  doctrines  (non-viol- 
ence)." ''°  In  short,  a  non- violent  man  was  to  be  secretly  attacked  and 
destroyed  as  insurance  against  his  abandoning  non-violence. 

(h)  Illegal  or  Iiwpro'per  Means. — The  surveillance  which  we  in- 
vestigated was  not  only  vastly  excessive  in  breadth  and  a  basis  for 
degrading  counterintelligence  actions,  but  was  also  often  conducted 
by  illegal  or  improper  means.  For  example : 

(1)  For  approximately  20  years  the  CIA  carried  out  a  pro- 
gram of  indiscriminately  opening  citizens'  first  class  mail. 
The  Bureau  also  had  a  mail  opening  program,  but  cancelled  it 
in  1966.  The  Bureau  continued,  however,  to  receive  the 
illegal  fruits  of  CIA's  program.  In  1970,  the  heads  of  both 
agencies  signed  a  document  for  President  Nixon,  which  cor- 
rectly stated  that  mail  opening  was  illegal,  falsely  stated  that 
it  had  been  discontinued,  and  proposed  that  the  illegal  open- 
ing of  mail  should  be  resumed  because  it  would  provide  use- 
ful results.  The  President  approved  the  program,  but  with- 
drew his  approval  five  days  later.  The  illegal  opening  con- 
tinued nonetheless.  Throughout  this  period  CIA  officials  knew 
that  mail  opening  was  illegal,  but  expressed  concern  about  the 
"flap  potential"  of  exposure,  not  about  the  illegality  of  their 

(2)  From  1947  imtil  May  1975,  NSA  received  from  inter- 
national cable  companies  millions  of  cables  which  had  been 
sent  by  American  citizens  in  the  reasonable  expectation  that 
they  would  be  kept  private.''^ 

(3)  Since  the  early  19B0's,  intelligence  agencies  have 
frequently  wiretapped  and  bugged  American  citizens  with- 
out the  benefit  of  judicial  warrant.  Recent  court  decisions 
have  curtailed  the  use  of  these  techniques  against  domestic 
targets.  But  past  subjects  of  these  surveillances  have  included 
a  United  States  Congressman,  a  Congressional  staff  member, 
journalists  and  newsmen,  and  numerous  individuals  and 
groups  who  engaged  in  no  criminal  activity  and  who  posed 
no  genuine  threat  to  the  national  security,  such  as  two  Wliite 
House  domestic  affairs  advisers  and  an  anti-Vietnam  War 
protest  group.  While  the  prior  written  approval  of  the  Attor- 
ney General  has  been  required  for  all  warrantless  wiretaps 
since  1940,  the  record  is  replete  with  instances  where  this 
requirement  was  ignored  and  the  Attorney  General  gave  only 
after-the-fact  authorization. 

Until  1965,  microphone  surveillance  by  intelligence  agen- 
cies was  wholly  unregiilated  in  certain  classes  of  cases.  Within 
weeks  after  a  1954  Supreme  Court  decision  denouncing  the 
FBI's  installation  of  a  microphone  in  a  defendant's  bedroom, 
the  Attorney  General  informed  the  Bureau  that  he  did  not 
believe  the  decision  applied  to  national  security  cases  and 

"'  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs,  3/4/68. 
''^  See  Mail  Opening  Report :  Section  II,  "Legal  Considerations  and  the  'Flap' 
■"  See  NSA  Report :  Section  I,  "Introduction  and  Summary." 


permitted  the  FBI  to  continue  to  install  microphones  sub- 
ject only  to  its  own  "intelligent  restrainf'J^ 

(4)  In  several  cases,  purely  political  information  (such 
as  the  reaction  of  Congress  to  an  Administration's  legislative 
proposal)  and  purely  personal  information  (such  as  cov- 
erage of  the  extra-marital  social  activities  of  a  high-level  Ex- 
ecutive official  under  surveillance)  was  obtained  from  elec- 
tronic surveillance  and  disseminated  to  the  highest  levels  of 
the  federal  government.^* 

(5)  Warrantless  break-ins  have  been  conducted  by  intelli- 
gence agencies  since  World  War  II.  During  the  1960's  alone, 
the  FBI  and  CIA  conducted  hundreds  of  break-ins,  many 
against  American  citizens  and  domestic  organizations.  In 
some  cases,  these  break-ins  were  to  install  microphones;  in 
other  cases,  they  were  to  steal  such  items  as  membership  lists 
from  organizations  considered  "subversive"  by  the  Bureau.'^^ 

(6)  The  most  pervasive  surveillance  technique  has  been 
the  informant.  In  a  random  sample  of  domestic  intelligence 
cases,  83%  involved  informants  and  5%  involved  electronic 
surveillance.'^*'  Informants  have  been  used  against  peaceful, 
law-abiding  groups;  they  have  collected  information  about 
personal  and  political  views  and  activities.^^  To  maintain 
their  credentials  in  violence-prone  groups,  informants  have 
involved  themselves  in  violent  activity.  This  phenomenon  is 
well  illustrated  by  an  informant  in  the  Klan.  He  was  present 
at  the  murder  of  a  civil  rights  worker  in  Mississippi  and  sub- 
sequently helped  to  solve  the  crime  and  convict  the  perpetra- 
tors. Earlier,  however,  while  performing  duties  paid  for  by 
the  Government,  he  had  previously  "beaten  people  severely, 
had  boarded  buses  and  kicked  people,  had  [gone]  into  res- 
taurants and  beaten  them  [blacks]  with  blackjacks,  chains, 
pistols."  "^  Although  the  FBI  requires  agents  to  instruct  in- 
formants that  they  cannot  be  involved  in  violence,  it  was 
understood  that  in  the  Klan,  "he  couldn't  be  an  angel  and 
be  a  good  informant."  ^^ 

Jf..  Ignoring  the  Law 
Officials  of  the  intelligence  agencies  occasionally  recognized  that 
certain  activities  were  illegal,  but  expressed  concern  only  for  "flap 
potential."  Even  more  disturbing  was  the  frequent  testimony  that  the 
law,  and  the  Constitution  were  simplv  ignored.  For  example,  the 
author  of  the  so-called  Huston  plan  testified : 

Question.  Was  there  any  person  who  stated  that  the  activity 
recommended,  which  you  have  previously  identified  as  being 

'''  Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Brownell  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  5/20/54. 

'*  See  finding  on  Political  Abuse.  To  protect  the  privacy  of  the  targeted 
individual,  fhe  Committee  has  omitted  the  citation  to  the  memorandum  concern- 
ing the  example  of  purelv  personal  information. 

"  Memorandum  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  C.  D.  DeT»aeh,  7/19/66,  p.  2. 

'"  General  Accounting  Office  Report  on  Domestic  Intelligence  Operations  of  the 
FBT.  9/75. 

■"  Mary  .To  Cook  testimony.  12/2/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6.  p.  111. 

"  Gary  Rowe  deposition,  10/17/75,  p.  9. 

"  Special  Agent  No.  3  deposition,  11/21/75,  p.  12. 


illegal  opening  of  the  mail  and  breaking  and  entry  or  bur- 
glary— was  there  any  single  person  who  stated  that  such  ac- 
tivity should  not  be  done  because  it  was  unconstitutional? 

Answer.  No. 

Question.  Was  there  any  single  person  who  said  such  activ- 
ity should  not  be  done  because  it  was  illegal  ? 

Answer.  No.^° 

Similarly,  the  man  who  for  ten  years  headed  FBI's  Intelligence 
Division  testif ed  that : 

. . .  never  once  did  I  hear  anybody,  including  myself,  raise  the 
question :  "Is  this  course  of  action  which  we  have  agreed  upon 
lawful,  is  it  legal,  is  it  ethical  or  moral."  We  never  gave  any 
thought  to  this  line  of  reasoning,  because  we  were  just  natu- 
rally pragmatic.^^ 

Although  the  statutory  law  and  the  Constitution  were  often  not 
"[given]  a  thought".^^  there  was  a  general  attitude  that  intelligence 
needs  were  responsive  to  a  higher  law.  Thus,  as  one  witness  testified 
in  justifying  the  FBI's  mail  opening  program : 

It  was  my  assumption  that  what  we  were  doing  was  justified 
by  what  we  had  to  do  .  .  .  the  greater  good,  the  national 

5.  Deficiencies  in  Accountability  and  Control 

The  overwhelming  number  of  excesses  continuing  over  a  prolonged 
period  of  time  were  due  in  large  measure  to  the  fact  that  the  system 
of  checks  and  balances — ^created  in  our  Constitution  to  limit  abuse  of 
Governmental  power — ^was  seldom  applied  to  the  intelligence  com- 
munity. Guidance  and  regulation  from  outside  the  intelligence  agen- 
cies— where  it  has  been  imposed  at  all — has  been  vague.  Presidents 
and  other  senior  Executive  officials,  particularly  the  Attorneys  Gen- 
eral, have  virtually  abdicated  their  Constitutional  responsibility  to 
oversee  and  set  standards  for  intelligence  activity.  Senior  government 
officials  generally  gave  the  agencies  broad,  general  mandates  or 
pressed  for  immediate  results  on  pressing  problems.  In  neither  case 
did  they  provide  guidance  to  prevent  excesses  and  their  broad 
mandates  and  pressures  themselves  often  resulted  in  excessive  or 
improper  intelligence  activity. 

Congress  has  often  declined  to  exercise  meaningful  oversight,  and 
on  occasion  has  passed  laws  or  made  statements  which  were  taken  by 
intelligence  agencies  as  supporting  overly-broad  investigations. 

*'  Huston  testimony,  9/23/75,  Hf-arin?s.  Vol.  2,  p.  41. 

"^William  Sullivan  testimony,  11/1/75,  pp.  92-93. 

**The  quote  is  from  a  Bureau  official  who  had  supervised  for  the  "Black 
Nationalist  Hate  Group"  COINTEI.PRO. 

"Question.  Did  anybody  at  any  time  that  you  r^memher  during  the  course  of 
the  programs  discuss  the  Constitutionality  or  the  legal  authority,  or  anything 
else  like  that? 

"Ansiwer.  No,  we  never  gave  it  a  thought.  As  far  as  T  know,  nobody  engaged 
or  ever  had  any  idea  that  they  were  doing  anything  other  than  what  was  the 
policy  of  the  Bureau  which  had  been  policy  for  a  long  time."  (George  Moore 
deposition,  11/3/75,  p.  83.) 

^  Branigan,  10/9/75,  p.  41. 


On  the  other  hand,  the  record  reveals  instances  when  intelligence 
agencies  have  concealed  improper  activities  from  their  superiors  in 
the  Executive  branch  and  from  the  Congress,  or  have  elected  to  dis- 
close only  the  less  questionable  aspects  of  their  activities. 

There  has  been,  in  short,  a  clear  and  sustained  failure  by  those 
responsible  to  control  the  intelligence  community  and  to  ensure  its 
accountability.  There  has  been  an  equally  clear  and  sustained  failure 
by  intelligence  agencies  to  fully  inform  the  proper  authorities  of  their 
activities  and  to  comply  with  directives  from  those  authorities. 

6.  The  Adverse  Impact  of  Improper  Intelligence  Activity 

Many  of  the  illegal  or  improper  disruptive  efforts  directed  against 
American  citizens  and  domestic  organizations  succeeded  in  injuring 
their  targets.  Although  it  is  sometimes  difficult  to  prove  that  a  target's 
misfortunes  were  caused  by  a  comiter-intelligence  program  directed 
against  him,  the  possibility  that  an  arm  of  the  United  States  Govern- 
ment intended  to  cause  the  harm  and  might  have  been  responsible  is 
itself  abhorrent. 

The  Committee  has  observed  numerous  examples  of  the  impact  of 
intelligence  operations.  Sometimes  the  harm  was  readily  apparent — 
destruction  of  marriages,  loss  of  friends  or  jobs.  Sometimes  the  atti- 
tudes of  the  public  and  of  Government  officials  responsible  for  formu- 
lating policy  and  resolving  vital  issues  were  influenced  by  distorted 
intelligence.  But  the  most  basic  harm  was  to  the  values  of  privacy 
and  freedom  which  our  Constitution  seeks  to  protect  and  which 
intelligence  activity  infringed  on  a  broad  scale. 

(a)  General  E-fforts  to  Discredit. — Several  efforts  against  individuals 
and  groups  appear  to  have  achieved  their  stated  aims.  For  example : 

— A  Bureau  Field  Office  reported  that  the  anonvmous  letter  it  had 
sent  to  an  activist's  husband  accusing  his  wife  of  infidelity  "contributed 
very  stronglv"  to  the  subsequent  breakup  of  the  marriage.^* 

— ^ Another  Field  Office  reported  that  a  dra^t  counsellor  deliberately, 
and  falsely,  accused  of  being  an  FBI  informant  was  "ostracized"  by 
his  friends  and  associates.^^ 

— Two  instructors  were  reportedly  put  on  probation  after  the  Bu- 
reau sent  an  anonvmous  letter  to  a  university  administrator  about  their 
funding  of  an  anti-administration  student  newspaper.^^ 

— The  Bureau  evaluated  its  attempts  to  "put  a  stop"  to  a  contribu- 
tion to  the  Southern  Christian  Leadership  Conference  as  "quite 
successful."  ^^ 

— An  FBI  document  boasted  that  a  "pretext"  phone  call  to  Stokeley 
Carmichael's  mother  telling  her  that  members  of  the  Black  Panther 
Party  intended  to  kill  her  son  left  her  "shocked".  The  memorandum  in- 
timated that  the  Bureau  believed  it  had  been  responsible  for  Carmi- 
chael's fliofht  to  Africa  the  following  day.^^ 

{h)  Media  Manipul<ition. — ^The  FBI  has  attempted  covertly  to  in- 
fluence the  public's  perception  of  persons  and  organizations  by  dis- 
seminatin.fT  derogatory  information  to  the  press,  either  anonymously 
or  through  "friendly"  news  contacts.  The  impact  of  those  articles  is 

^  Memorandum  from  St.  Louis  Field  Office  to  FBT  Headquarters.  6/19/70. 
"  Memorandum  from  San  Dieeo  Field  Office  to  FBT  Headquarters.  4/30/69. 
**  Memorandum  from  Mobile  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  12/9/70. 
"  Memorandum  from  Wick  to  DeLoach,  11/9/66. 
*®  Memorandum  from  New  York  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  9/9/68. 


generally  difficult  to  measure,  although  in  some  cases  there  are  fairly 
direct  connections  to  injury  to  the  target.  The  Bureau  also  attempted 
to  influence  media  reporting  which  would  have  any  impact  on  the  pub- 
lic image  of  the  FBI.  Examples  include : 

— Planting  a  series  of  derogatory  articles  about  Martin  Luther 
King,  Jr.,  and  the  Poor  People's  Campaign.^^ 

For  example,  in  anticipation  of  the  1968  "poor  people's  march  on 
Washington,  D.C.,"  Bureau  Headquarters  granted  authority  to 
furnish  "cooperative  news  media  sources"  an  article  "designed  to  cur- 
tail success  of  Martin  Luther  King's  fimd  raising."  ^  Another  memo- 
randum illustrated  how  "photographs  of  demonstrators"  could  be  used 
in  discrediting  the  civil  rights  movement.  Six  photogi'aphs  of  partic- 
ipants in  the  poor  people's  campaign  in  Cleveland  accompanied  the 
memorandum  with  the  following  note  attached:  "These  [photo- 
graphs] show  the  militant  aggressive  appearance  of  tlie  participants 
and  might  be  of  interest  to  a  cooperative  news  source."  °^  Information 
on  the  Poor  People's  Campaign  was  provided  by  the  FBI  to  friendly 
reporters  on  the  condition  that  "the  Bureau  must  not  be  revealed  as 
the  source."  ^^ 

— Soliciting  information  from  Field  Offices  "on  a  continuing  basis" 
for  "prompt  .  .  .  dissemination  to  the  news  media  ...  to  discredit 
the  New  Left  movement  and  its  adherents."  The  Headquarters  direc- 
tive requested,  among  other  things,  that : 

specific  data  should  be  furnished  depicting  the  scurrilous  and 
depraved  nature  of  many  of  the  characters,  activities,  habits 
and  living  conditions  representative  of  New  Left  adherents. 

Field  Offices  were  to  be  exhorted  that :  "Every  avenue  of  possible  em- 
barrassment must  be  vigorously  and  enthusiastically  explored."  ^^ 

—Ordering  Field  Offices  to  gather  information  which  would  dis- 
prove allegations  bv  the  "liberal  press,  the  bleeding  hearts,  and  the 
forces  on  the  left"  that  the  Chicago  police  used  undue  force  in  dealing 
with  demonstrators  at  the  1968  Democratic  Convention.^^ 

— ^Taldng  advantage  of  a  close  relationship  with  the  Chairman  of 
the  Board — described  in  an  FBI  memorandum  as  "our  good  friend" — 
of  a  magazine  with  national  circulation  to  influence  articles  which  re- 
lated to  the  FBI.  For  example,  through  this  relationship  the  Bureau : 
"squelched"  an  "unfavorable  article  against  the  Bureau"  written  by  a 
free-lance  writer  about  an  FBI  investigation ;  "postponed  publication" 
of  an  article  on  another  FBI  case;  "forestalled  publication"  of  an  ar- 
ticle by  Dr.  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr. ;  and  received  information  about 
proposed  editing  of  King's  articles.^^ 

(c)  Distorting  Data  to  Influence  Government  Policy  aTuI  Pub- 
lic Perceptions 
Accurate  intelligence  is  a  prerequisite  to  sound  government  policy. 
However,  as  the  past  head  of  the  FBI's  Domestic  Intelligence  Division 
reminded  the  Committee : 

^  See  Kins:  Report :  Sections  V  and  "VII. 

•*  Memorandum  from  G.  C.  Moore  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  10/26/68. 

*^  Memorandum  from  G.  C.  Moore  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  5/17/68. 

®^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headouarters  to  Miami  Field  Office,  7/0/68. 

*' Memorandum  from  C.  D.  Brennan  toW.  C.  Sullivan.  5/22/68. 

'"Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Chicaeo  Field  Office,  8/28/68. 

**  Memorandum  from  W,  H.  Stapleton  to  DeLoach,  11/3/64. 


The  facts  by  themselves  are  not  too  meaningful.  They  are 
something  like  stones  cast  into  a  heap.^^ 

On  certain  crucial  subjects  the  domestic  intelligence  agencies  reported 
the  "facts"  in  ways  that  gave  rise  to  misleading  impressions. 

For  example,  the  FBI's  Domestic  Intelligence  Division  initially  dis- 
counted as  an  "obvious  failure"  the  alleged  attempts  of  Communists 
to  influence  the  civil  rights  movement. °^  Without  any  significant 
change  in  the  factual  situation,  the  Bureau  moved  from  the  Division's 
conclusion  to  Director  Hoover's  public  congressional  testimony  charac- 
terizing Communist  influence  on  the  civil  rights  movement  as  "vitally 
important."  ^^^ 

FBI  reporting  on  protests  against  the  Vietnam  War  provides  an- 
other example  of  the  manner  in  which  the  information  provided  to 
decision-makers  can  be  skewed.  In  acquiescence  with  a  judgment  al- 
ready ex])ressed  by  President  Johnson,  the  Bureau's  reports  on  dem- 
onstrations against  the  War  in  Vietnam  emphasized  Communist  efforts 
to  influence  the  anti-war  movement  and  underplayed  the  fact  that  the 
vast  majority  of  demonstrators  were  not  Communist  controlled.^^ 

{d)  ^''Chilling''''  First  AmendTnent  Rights. — The  First  Amendment 
protects  the  Eights  of  American  citizens  to  engage  in  free  and  open 
discussions,  and  to  associate  with  persons  of  their  choosing.  Intel- 
ligence agencies  have,  on  occasion,  expressly  attempted  to  interfere 
with  those  rights.  For  example,  one  internal  FBI  memorandum 
called  for  "more  interviews"  with  New  Left  subjects  "to  enhance 
the  paranoia  endemic  in  these  circles"  and  "get  the  point  across  there 
is  an  FBI  agent  behind  every  mailbox."  ^°° 

INIore  importantly,  the  government's  surveillance  activities  in  the 
aggregate — whether  or  not  expressly  intended  to  do  so — tends,  as 
the  Committee  concludes  at  p-  290  to  deter  the  exercise  of  First 
Amended  riglits  bv  American  citizens  who  become  aware  of  the  gov- 
ernment's domestic  intelligence  prosfram. 

(e)  Preventing  the  Free  Exchange  of  Ideas.  Speakers,  teachers, 
writers,  and  publicatioiis  themselves  were  targets  of  the  FBI's  counter- 
intelligence proarram.  The  FBI's  efforts  to  interfere  with  the  free  ex- 
change of  ideas  included : 

— Anonymously  attempting  to  prevent  an  alleged  "Communist- 
front"  group  from  lioldinof  a  forum  on  a  midwest  campus,  and  then 
investi.o-ating  the  judge  who  ordered  that  the  meeting  be  allowed  to 
proceed. ^°^ 

— IJsin.o:  another  "confidential  source"  in  a  foundation  which  con- 
tributed to  a  local  college  to  apply  pressure  on  the  school  to  fire  an 
activist  professor. 

— Anonymously  contacting  a  university  official  to  urge  him  to  "per- 
suade" two  professors  to  stop  fmidinor  a  student  newspaper,  in  order 
to  "eliminate  what  voice  the  New  Left  has"  in  the  area. 

*'Snllivan.  11/1/75.  p.  48. 

°^  Memorandum  from  Bnnmgardner  to  Sullivan.  8/26/63  p.  1.  Hoover  himself 
eonstmed  the  initial  Division  estimate  to  mean  that  Communist  influence  was 

08^  See  Fniflins:  on  Politieal  Abuse,  p.  22.5. 

"^  Sop  Findinc  on  Political  Abuse,  p.  225. 

'•^  "New  T.eft  Notes— Philadelphia."  9/16/70.  Edition  #1. 

^"^ :\remorandum  fmm  "netroit  Field  Office  to  FBI  Hendnuarters  10/26/60; 
Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Detroit  Field  Office  10/27,  28,  31/60; 
Memorandum  from  Baumgardner  to  Belmont,  10/26/60. 

-786  O  -  76  -  .T 


— Targeting  the  New  Mexico  Free  University  for  teaching  "con- 
frontation politics"  and  "draft  counseling  training"."^ 

7.  Cost  and  Value 

Domestic  intelligence  is  expensive.  We  have  already  indicated  the 
cost  of  illegal  and  improper  intelligence  activities  in  tenns  of  the 
harm  to  victims,  the  injury  to  constitutional  values,  and  the  damage 
to  the  democratic  process  itself.  The  cost  in  dollars  is  also  significant. 
For  example,  the  FBI  has  budgeted  for  fiscal  year  1976  over  $7 
million  for  its  domestic  security  informant  program,  more  than  twice 
the  amount  it  spends  on  informants  against  organized  crime.^°^  The 
aggregate  budget  for  FBI  domestic  security  intelligence  and  foreign 
counterintelligence  is  at  least  $80  million.^"*  In  the  late  1960s  and  early 
1970s,  when  the  Bureau  was  joined  by  the  CIA,  the  military,  and 
NSA  in  collecting  information  about  the  anti-war  movement  and 
black  activists,  the  cost  was  substantially  greater. 

Apart  from  the  excesses  described  above,  the  usefulness  of  many 
domestic  intelligence  activities  in  serving  the  legitimate  goal  of  pro- 
tecting society  has  been  questionable.  Properly  directed  intelligence 
investigations  concentrating  upon  hostile  foreign  agents  and  violent 
terrorists  can  produce  valuable  results.  The  Committee  has  examined 
cases  where  the  FBI  uncovered  "illegal"  agents  of  a  foreign  power 
engaged  in  clandestine  intelligence  activities  in  \aolation  of  federal 
law.  Information  leading  to  the  prevention  of  serious  violence  has 
been  acquired  by  the  FBI  through  its  informant  penetration  of  ter- 
rorist groups  and  through  the  inclusion  in  Bureau  files  of  the  names 
of  persons  actively  involved  with  such  groups.^"^  Nevertheless,  the  most 
sweeping  domestic  intelligence  surveillance  programs  have  produced 
surprisingly  few  useful  returns  in  view  of  their  extent.  For  example : 

^*^See  COINTELPRO  Report:  Section  III.  "The  GoaLs  of  COTNTELPRO : 
Preventing  or  disrupting  the  exercise  of  First  Amendment  Rights." 

^"^  The  budget  for  FBI  informant  programs  includes  not  only  the  payments  to 
informants  for  their  services  and  expenses,  but  also  the  expenses  of  FBI  per- 
sonnel who  supervise  informants,  their  support  costs,  and  administrative  over- 
head.  (Justice  Department  letter  to  Senate  Select  Committee,  3/2/76). 

^''*  The  Committee  is  withholding  the  portion  of  this  figure  spent  on  domestic 
security  intelligence  (informants  and  other  investigations  combined)  to  pre- 
vent hostile  foreign  intelligence  services  from  deducing  the  amount  spent  on 
coiinterespionage.  The  $80  million  figure  does  not  include  all  costs  of  separate 
FBI  activities  which  may  be  drawn  upon  for  domestic  security  intelligence  pur- 
poses. Among  these  are  the  Identification  Division  (maintaining  fingerprint 
records),  the  Files  and  Communications  Division  (managing  the  storage  and 
retrieval  of  investigative  and  intelligence  files),  and  the  FBI  Laboratory. 

^"^  Examples  of  valuable  informant  reports  include  the  following :  one 
informant  reported  a  plan  to  ambush  police  officers  and  the  location  of  a  cache 
of  weapons  and  dynamite ;  another  informant  reported  plans  to  transport 
illegally  obtained  weapons  to  "Washington,  D.C. ;  two  informants  at  one  meeting 
discovered  plans  to  dynamite  two  city  blocks.  All  of  these  plans  were  frustrated 
by  further  investigation  and  protective  measures  or  arrest.  (FBI  memorandum 
to  Select  Committee,  12/10/75 ;  Senate  Select  Committee  Staff  memorandum : 
Intelligence  Cases  in  Which  the  FBI  Prevented  Violence,  undated.) 

One  example  of  the  use  of  information  in  Bureau  files  involved  a  "name 
check"  at  Secret  Service  request  on  certain  persons  applying  for  press  credentials 
to  cover  the  visit  of  a  foreign  head  of  state.  The  discovery  of  data  in  FBI  files 
indicating  that  one  such  person  had  been  actively  involved  with  violent  groups 
led  to  further  investigation  and  ultimately  the  issuance  of  a  search  warrant.  The 
search  produced  evidence,  including  weapons,  of  a  plot  to  assassinate  the  foreign 
head  of  state.   (FBI  memorandum  to  Senate  Select  Committee,  2/23/76) 


—Between  1960  and  1974,  the  FBI  conducted  over  500,000  separate 
investigations  of  persons  and  groups  under  the  "subversive"  category, 
predicated  on  the  possibility  that  they  might  be  likely  to  overthrow 
the  government  of  the  United  States.^"''  Yet  not  a  single  individual  or 
group  has  been  prosecuted  since  1957  under  the  laws  which  prohibit 
planning  or  advocating  action  to  overthrow  the  government  and  which 
are  the  main  alleged  statutory  basis  for  such  FBI  investigations."^ 

— A  recent  study  by  the  General  Accounting  Office  has  estimated 
that  of  some  17,528  FBI  domestic  intelligence  investigations  of  in- 
dividuals in  1974,  only  1.3  percent  resulted  in  prosecution  and  con- 
viction, and  in  only  "about  2  percent"  of  the  cases  was  advance  knowl- 
edge of  any  activity — legal  or  illegal — obtained.^°^ 

— One  of  the  main  reasons  advanced  for  expanded  collection  of 
intelligence  about  urban  unrest  and  anti-war  protest  was  to  help  re- 
sponsible officials  cope  with  possible  violence.  However,  a  former 
White  House  official  with  major  duties  in  this  area  under  the  John- 
son administration  has  concluded,  in  retrospect,  that  "in  none  of  these 
situations  .  .  .  would  advance  intelligence  about  dissident  groups 
[have]  been  of  much  help,"  that  what  was  needed  was  "physical  intel- 
ligence" about  the  geography  of  major  cities,  and  that  the  attempt  to 
"predict  violence"  was  not  a  "successful  undertaking."  ^"'^ 

— Domestic  intelligence  reports  have  sometimes  even  been  counter- 
productive. A  local  police  chief,  for  example,  described  FBI  reports 
which  led  to  the  positioning  of  federal  troops  near  his  city  as : 

.  .  .  almost  completely  composed  of  unsorted  and  unevalu- 
ated  stories,  threats,  and  rumors  that  had  crossed  my  desk  in 
New  Haven.  Many  of  these  had  long  before  been  discounted 
by  our  Intelligence  Division.  But  they  had  made  their  way 
from  New  Haven  to  Washington,  had  gained  completely  un- 
warranted credibility,  and  had  been  submitted  by  the  Di- 
rector of  the  FBI  to  the  President  of  the  United  States. 
They  seemed  to  present  a  convincing  picture  of  impending 

In  considering  its  recommendations,  the  Committee  undertook  an 
evaluation  of  the  FBI's  claims  that  domestic  intelligence  was  neces- 
sary to  combat  terrorism,  civil  disorders,  "subversion,"  and  hostile 

"'  This  figure  is  the  number  of  "investigative  matters"  handled  by  the  FBI 
in  this  area,  including  as  separate  items  the  investigative  leads  in  particular 
cases  which  are  followed  up  by  various  field  oflSces.  (FBI  memorandum  to 
Select  Committee.  10/6/75.) 

^'"  Schackelford  2/13/76,  p.  32.  This  ofllcial  does  not  recall  any  targets  of  "sub- 
versive" investigations  having  been  even  referred  to  a  Grand  Jury  under  these 
statutes  since  the  1950s. 

108  upgj  Domestic  Intelligence  Operations — Their  Purpose  and  Scope:  Issues 
Tliat  Need  To  Be  Resolved,"  Report  by  the  Comptroller  General  to  the  House 
Judiciary  Committee,  2/24/76,  pp.  138-147.  The  FBI  contends  that  these  statis- 
tics may  be  unfair  in  that  they  concentrate  on  investigations  of  individuals 
rather  than  groups.  (Ibid.,  Appendix  V)  In  response,  GAO  states  that  its 
"sample  of  organization  and  control  files  was  sufficient  to  determine  that  generally 
the  FBI  did  not  report  advance  knowledge  of  planned  violence."  In  most  of  the 
fourteen  instances  where  such  advance  knowledge  was  obtained,  it  relatetl  to 
"such  activities  as  speeches,  demonstrations  or  meetings — all  essentially  non- 
violent." (Ibid.  p.  144) 

^•^  .Joseph  Califano  testimony.  1/27/76,  pp.  7-8. 

""  James  Ahern  testimony,  1/20/76,  pp.  16, 17. 


foreign  intelligence  activity.  The  Committee  reviewed  voluminous 
materials  bearing  on  this  issue  and  questioned  Bureau  officials,  local 
police  officials,  and  present  and  former  federal  executive  officials. 

We  have  found  that  we  are  in  fundamental  agreement  with  the 
wisdom  of  Attorney  General  Stone's  initial  warning  that  intelligence 
agencies  must  not  be  "concerned  with  political  or  other  opinions  of 
individuals"  and  must  be  limited  to  investigating  essentially  only 
"such  conduct  as  is  forbidden  by  the  laws  of  the  United  States."  The 
Committee's  record  demonstrates  that  domestic  intelligence  which  de- 
parts from  this  standard  raises  grave  risks  of  undermining  the  demo- 
cratic process  and  harming  the  interests  of  individual  citizens.  This 
danger  weighs  heavily  against  the  speculative  or  negligible  benefits  of 
the  ill-defined  and  overbroad  investigations  authorized  in  the  past. 
Thus,  the  basic  purpose  of  the  recommendations  contained  in  Part  IV 
of  this  report  is  to  limit  the  FBI  to  investigating  conduct  rather  than 
ideas  or  associations. 

The  excesses  of  the  past  do  not,  however,  justify  depriving  the 
United  States  of  a  clearly  defined  and  effectively  controlled  domestic 
intelligence  capability.  The  intelligence  services  of  this  nation's  inter- 
national adversaries  continue  to  attempt  to  conduct  clandestine  espio- 
nage operations  within  the  United  States.^^^  Our  recommendations 
provide  for  intelligence  investigations  of  hostile  foreign  intelligence 

INIoreover,  terrorists  have  engaged  in  serious  acts  of  violence  which 
have  brought  death  and  injury  to  Americans  and  threaten  further  such 
acts.  These  acts,  not  the  ])olitics  or  beliefs  of  those  who  would  commit 
them,  are  the  proper  focus  for  investigations  to  anticipate  terrorist 
violence.  Accordingly,  the  Committee  would  permit  properly  con- 
trolled intelligence  investigations  in  those  narrow  circumstances.^^^ 

Concentration  on  imminent  violence  can  avoid  the  wasteful  dis- 
])ersion  of  resources  which  lias  characterized  tlie  sweepin<T^  (and  fruit- 
less) domestic  intelligence  investigations  of  the  past.  But  the  most 
important  reason  for  the  fundamental  change  in  the  domestic  in- 
telligence operations  which  our  Eecommendations  propose  is  the 
need  to  protect  the  constitutional  rights  o^  Americans. 

In  li^rht  of  the  record  of  al^use  revealed  by  our  inquiry,  the  Com- 
mittee is  not  satisfied  with  the  position  that  mere  exposure  of  what 
has  occurred  in  the  past  will  prevent  its  recurrence.  Clear  legal 
standards  and  effective  oversight  and  controls  are  necessary  to  en.  ure 
that  domestic  intelligence  activity  does  not  itself  undermine  the 
democratic  system  it  is  intended  to  protect. 

^"  An  indication  of  the  scope  of  the  problem  is  the  inoreasing  number  of  official 
representatives  of  communist  governments  in  the  United  States.  For  exnmple, 
the  number  of  Soviic't  officials  in  this  country  has  increased  from  333  in  1961  to 
1.079  bv  early  1975.  There  were  2,683  East- West  exf^hange  visitors  and  l.nOO  com- 
mercial visitors  in  1974.  (FBI  Memorandum.  "Intelligence  Activities  Within  the 
United  States  by  Foreign  Governments,"  3/20/7.^. ) 

^"According  to  the  FBI,  there  were  S9  bombings  attributable  to  terrorist 
activity  in  1975,  as  compared  with  4.5  in  1974  and  24  in  1973.  Six  persons  died  in 
terrorist-flaimpd  bombings  and  76  persons  were  injured  in  1975.  Five  other  deaths 
were  reported  in  other  types  of  terrorist  inf  idents.  Monetary  damage  reported  in 
terrorist  bombings  exceeded  2.7  million  dollars.  It  should  be  noted,  however,  that 
terrorist  bombings  are  only  a  fraction  of  the  total  number  of  bombings  in  this 
country.  Thus,  the  89  terrorist  bombings  in  1975  were  amonfr  n  total  r>f  over 
1,900  bombings,  most  of  which  were  not,  according  to  the  FBI,  attributable 
cleirlv  to  terrorist  activity.  (FBI  memorandum  to  Senate  Select  Committee, 


1936  TO  1976 

A.  Summary 

1.  The  Lesson:  History  Repeats  Itself 

During  and  after  the  First  World  War,  intelligence  agencies,  in- 
cluding the  predecessor  of  the  FBI,  engaged  in  re]Dressive  activity.^ 
A  new  Attorney  General,  Harlan  Fiske  Stone,  sought  to  stop  the  in- 
vestigation of  ''political  or  other  opinions." '  This  restraint  was  em- 
bodied only  in  an  executive  pronouncement,  however.  No  statutes  were 
passed  to  prevent  the  kind  of  improper  activity  which  had  been  ex- 
posed. Thereafter,  as  this  narrative  will  show,  the  abuses  returned  in  a 
new  form.  It  is  now  the  responsibility  of  all  three  branches  of  gov- 
ernment to  ensure  that  the  pattern  of  abuse  of  domestic  intelligence 
activity  does  not  recur. 

2.  The  Pattern:  Broadening  Through  Time, 

Since  the  re-establishment  of  federal  domestic  intelligence  programs 
in  1936,  there  has  been  a  steady  increase  in  the  government's  capa- 
bility and  willingness  to  pry  into,  and  even  disrupt,  the  political  ac- 
tivities and  personal  lives  of  the  people.  The  last  forty  years  have 
witnessed  a  relentless  expansion  of  domestic  intelligence  activity  be- 
yond investigation  of  criminal  conduct  toward  the  collection  of  polit- 
ical intelligence  and  the  launching  of  secret  offensive  actions  against 

The  initial  incursions  into  the  realm  of  ideas  and  associations  were 
related  to  concerns  about  the  influence  of  foreign  totalitarian  powers. 

^  Repressive  practices  during  World  War  I  included  the  formation  of  a  vol- 
unteer auxiliary  force,  known  as  the  American  Protective  League,  which  as- 
sisted the  Justice  Department  and  military  intelligence  in  the  investigation  of 
"un-American  activities"  and  in  the  mass  round-up  of  50,000  persons  to  discover 
draft  evaders.  These  so-called  "slacker  raids"  of  1918  involved  warrantless 
arrests  without  sufficient  probable  cause  to  believe  that  crime  had  been  or 
was  about  to  be  committed  (FBI  Intelligence  Division  memorandum,  "An 
Analysis  of  FBI  Domestic  Security  Intelligence  Investigations,"  10/28/75.) 

The  American  Protective  League  also  contributed  to  the  pressures  which  re- 
sulted in  nearly  2.000  prosecutions  for  disloyal  utterances  and  activities  during 
World  War  I,  a  policy  described  by  John  Lord  O'Brien,  Attorney  General  Greg- 
ory's Special  Assistant,  as  one  of  "wholesale  repression  and  restraint  of  public 
oi)inion."  (Zechariah  Chafee.  Free  Speech  in  the  United  States  (Cambridge: 
Harvard  I^niversity  Press,  1941)   p.  69.) 

Shortly  after  the  war  the  Justice  Department  and  the  Bureau  of  Investiga- 
tion jointly  planned  the  notorious  "Palmer  Raids",  named  for  Attorney  Gen- 
eral A.  Mitchell  Palmer  who  ordered  the  overnight  round-up  and  detention  of 
some  10,000  persons  who  were  thought  to  be  "anarchist"  or  "revolutionary" 
aliens  subject  to  deportation.  (William  Preston,  Aliens  and  Dissenters  (Cam- 
liridge:  Hnrvard  T^niversity  Press.  1963),  chs.  7-8;  Stanley  Colien,  A.  Mitchell 
Palmer:  Politician  (New  York:  Columbia  University  Press,  1963),  chs.  11-12.) 

^  See  Attorney  General  Stone's  full  statement,  p.  23. 



Ultimately,  however,  intelligence  activity  was  directed  against  do- 
mestic groups  advocating  change  in  America,  particularly  those  who 
most  vigorously  opposed  the  "Vietnam  war  or  sought  to  improve  the 
conditions  of  racial  minorities.  Similarly,  the  targets  of  intelligence 
investigations  were  broadened  from  groups  perceived  to  be  violence 
prone  to  include  groups  of  ordinary  protesters. 

3.  Three  Periods  of  Growth  for  Domestic  Intelligence 

The  expansion  of  domestic  intelligence  activity  can  usefully  be  di- 
vided into  three  broad  periods:  (a)  the  pre-war  and  World  "War  II 
period;  (b)  the  Cold  "W^ar  era;  and  (c)  the  period  of  domestic  dissent 
beginning  in  the  mid-sixties.  The  main  developments  in  each  of  these 
stages  in  the  evolution  of  domestic  intelligence  may  be  summarized  as 
follows : 

a.  1936-191,5 
By  presidential  directive — rather  than  statute — the  FBI  and  mili- 
taiy  intelligence  agencies  were  authorized  to  conduct  domestic  intelli- 
gence investigations.  These  investigations  included  a  vaguely  defined 
mission  to  collect  intelligence  about  "subversive  activities"  which 
were  sometimes  unrelated  to  law  enforcement.  Wartime  exigencies  en- 
couraged the  unregulated  use  of  intrusive  intelligence  techniques;  and 
the  FBI  began  to  resist  supervision  by  the  Attorney  General. 

h.  191,6-1963 
Cold  War  fears  and  dangers  nurtured  the  domestic  intelligence  pro- 
grams of  the  FBI  and  militaiy,  and  they  became  permanent  features 
of  government.  Congress  deferred  to  the  executive  branch  in  the 
oversight  of  these  programs.  The  FBI  became  increasingly  isolated 
from  effective  outside  control,  even  from  the  Attorneys  General.  The 
scope  of  investigations  of  "subversion"  widened  greatly.  Under  the 
cloak  of  secrecv,  the  FBI  instituted  its  COINTELPRO  operations  to 
"disrupt"  and  "neutralize"  "subversives".  Tlie  National  Security 
Agency,  the  FBI,  and  the  CIA  re-instituted  instrusive  wartime  sur- 
veillance techniques  in  contravention  of  law. 

c.  196^-1976 
Intelligence  techniques  which  previously  had  been  concentrated 
upon  foreign  threats  and  domestic  groups  said  to  be  under  Communist 
influence  were  applied  with  increasing  intensity  to  a  wide  range  of  do- 
mestic activity  by  American  citizens.  These  techniques  were  utilized 
against  peaceful  civil  rights  and  antiwar  protest  activity,  and  there- 
after in  reaction  to  civil  unrest,  often  without  regard  for  the  conse- 
quences to  American  liberties.  The  intelligence  agencies  of  the  United 
States — sometimes  abetted  by  public  opinion  and  often  in  response  to 
pressure  from  administration  officials  or  the  Congress— frequently  dis- 
regarded the  law  in  their  conduct  of  massive  surveillance  and  aggres- 
sive counterintelligence  operations  against  American  citizens.  In  the 
past  few  years,  some  of  these  activities  were  curtailed,  partly  in  re- 
sponse to  the  moderation  of  the  domestic  crisis;  but  all  too  often  im- 
proper programs  were  terminated  only  in  response  to  exposure,  the 
threat  of  exposure,  or  a  change  in  the  climate  of  public  opinion,  such 
as  that  triggered  by  the  Watergate  affair. 


B.   Establishing  a  Permanent  Domestic  Intelligence 
Structure:  1936-1945 

1.  Background:  The  Stone  Standard 

The  first  substantial  domestic  intellio^ence  programs  of  the  federal 
government  were  established  during  World  War  I. 

The  Justice  Department's  Bureau  of  Investigation  (as  the  FBI 
was  then  known),  military  intelligence,  other  federal  investigative 
agencies,  and  the  volunteer  American  Protective  League  were  involved 
in  these  programs.^  In  the  period  immediately  following  World  War 
I,  the  Bureau  of  Investigation  took  part  in  the  notorious  Palmer  Raids 
and  other  activities  against  persons  characterized  as  "subversive."  * 

Harlan  Fiske  Stone,  who  became  Attorney  General  in  1924,  described 
the  conduct  of  Justice  Department  and  the  Bureau  of  Investigation 
before  he  took  office  as  "lawless,  maintaining  many  activities  which 
were  without  any  authority  in  federal  statutes,  and  engaging  in  many 
practices  which  were  brutal  and  tyrannical  in  tlie  extreme."  ^ 

Fearing  that  the  investigative  activities  of  the  Bureau  could  invade 
])rivacy  and  inhibit  political  freedoms.  Attorney  General  Stone 
announced : 

There  is  always  the  posibility  that  a  secret  police  may  be- 
come a  menace  to  free  government  and  free  institutions, 
because  it  carries  with  it  the  possibility  of  abuses  of  power 
which  are  not  always  quickly  apprehended  or  understood. 
...  It  is  important  that  its  activities  be  strictly  limited  to  the 
performance  of  those  functions  for  which  it  was  created  and 
that  its  agents  themselves  be  not  above  the  law  or  beyond  its 
reach.  . . .  The  Bureau  of  Investigation  is  not  concerned  with 
political  or  other  opinions  of  individuals.  It  is  concerned  only 
with  their  conduct  and  then  only  with  such  conduct  as  is  for- 
bidden by  the  laws  of  the  United  States.  When  a  police  sys- 
tem passes  beyond  these  limits,  it  is  dangerous  to  the  proper 
administration  of  justice  and  to  human  liberty,  which  it 
should  be  our  first  concern  to  cherish.^ 

When  Stone  appointed  J.  Edgar  Hoover  as  Acting  Director  of  the 
Bureau  of  Investigation,  he  instructed  Hoover  to  adhere  to  this 
standard : 

The  activities  of  the  Bureau  are  to  be  limited  strictly  to  in- 
vestigations of  violations  of  law,  under  my  direction  or  under 

'See  Joan  Jensen,  The  Price  of  Vigilance  (Chicago:  Rand  McNally,  1968). 
One  FBI  official  recalled  later,  "There  were  probably  seven  or  eight  such  active 
organizations  operating  at  full  force  dxiring  war  days  and  it  was  not  an  uncommon 
experience  for  an  Agent  of  this  Bureau  to  call  upon  an  individual  in  the  course 
of  his  investigation,  to  find  out  that  six  or  seven  other  Government  agencies  had 
been  around  to  interview  the  party  about  the  same  matter."  (Memorandum  of 
F.  X.  O'Donnell,  Subject:  Operations  During  World  War  I,  10/4/38). 

*  See  footnote  1,  p.  21. 

"Letter  from  Justice  Harlan  Fiske  Stone  to  Jack  Alexander,  9/21/37,  cited  in 
Alpheus  T.  Mason,  Harlan  FisJce  Stone:  Pillar  of  the  Law  (New  York,  Viking, 
19ofi),p.  149. 

"  New  York  Times,  5/10/24. 


the  direction  of  an  Assistant  Attorney  General  regularly  con- 
ducting the  work  of  the  Department  of  Justice.^ 

Nevertheless,  beginning  in  the  mid-thirties,  at  White  House  direction, 
the  FBI  reentered  the  realm  of  collecting  intelligence  about  ideas  and 

■2.  Main  Developments  of  the  1936-191)6  Period 

In  the  years  preceding  World  War  II,  domestic  intelligence  activi- 
ties were  reinstituted,  expanded,  and  institutionalized.  Based  upon 
vague  and  conflicting  orders  to  investigate  the  undefined  areas  of 
"subversion"  and  "potential  crimes"  related  to  national  security,  the 
FBI  commenced  a  broad  intelligence  program.  The  FBI  was  author- 
ized to  preempt  the  field,  although  the  military  engaged  in  some  in- 
vestigation of  civilians. 

The  FBI's  domestic  intelligence  jurisdiction  went  beyond  investiga- 
tions of  crime  to  include  a  vague  mandate  to  investigate  foreign  in- 
volvement in  American  affairs.  In  the  exercise  of  this  jurisdictional 
authority,  the  Bureau  began  to  investigate  law  abiding  domestic 
groups  and  individuals;  its  program  was  also  open  to  misuse  for 
political  purposes.  The  most  intrusive  intelligence  techniques — ini- 
tially used  to  meet  wartime  exigencies — were  based  on  questionable 
statutory  interpretation,  or  lacked  any  foraial  legal  authorization. 

The  executive  intentionally  kept  the  issue  of  domestic  intelligence- 
gathering  away  from  the  Congress  until  1939,  and  thereafter  the 
Congress  appears  to  have  deliberately  declined  to  confront  the  issue. 
The  FBI  generally  complied  with  the  Attorney  General's  policies, 
but  began  to  resist  Justice  Department  review  of  its  activities.  On  one 
occasion,  the  Bureau  appears  to  have  disregarded  an  Attorney  Gen- 
eral's policy  directive. 

However  important  these  developments  were  in  themselves,  the  en- 
during significance  of  this  period  is  that  it  opened  the  institutional 
door  to  greater  excesses  in  later  years. 

3.  Dotnestic  Intelligence  Authority :  Vague  and  Con-flicting  Executive 
The  executive  orders  upon  which  the  Bureau  based  its  intelligence 
activity  in  the  decade  before  World  War  II  were  vague  and  conflict- 
ing. By  using  words  like  "subversion" — a  term  which  was  never 
defined — and  by  permitting  the  investigation  of  "potential"  crimes, 
and  matters  "not  within  the  specific  provisions  of  prevailing  statutes", 
the  foundation  was  laid  for  excessive  intelligence  gathering  about 

''Stone  to  Hoover.  5/13/24,  quoted  in  Mason,  Harlan  Fiskc  Sitone,  at  p.  151. 
Although  Hoover  had  served  as  head  of  the  General  Intellijrence  Division  of  the 
Justice  Department  at  the  time  of  the  "Palmer  Raids"  and  became  an  Assistant 
Director  of  the  Bureau  in  1921,  he  persuaded  Attorney  General  Stone  and  Roeer 
Baldwin  of  the  American  Civil  I>iberties  Union  that  he  had  plaved  an  "unwill- 
ing part"  in  the  excesses  of  the  past,  and  he  agreed  to  disband  the  Bureau's 
"radical  division."  Baldwin  advised  Stone,  "I  think  we  were  wrong  in  our  esti- 
mate of  his  attitude."  (Baldwin  to  Stone.  8/6/2^.  ouoted  in  Donald  .Tohnson, 
The  Challenge  to  American  Freedoms  (University  of  Kentucky  Press,  1063).  pp. 

In  December  1924,  Stone  made  Hoover  Director  of  the  Bureau  of  Investigation. 


a.  The  Oinginal  Roosevelt  Orders 

In  1934,  according  to  a  memorandum  by  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  Presi- 
dent Roosevelt  ordered  an  investigation  of  "the  Nazi  movement  in 
this  country."  In  response,  the  FBI  conducted  a  one-time  investiga- 
tion, described  by  FBI  Director  Hoover  as  "a  so-called  intelligence 
investigation."  It  concentrated  on  "the  Nazi  group,"  with  particular 
i-eference  to  "anti-racial"  and  "anti-American"  activities  having  "any 
possible  connection  with  official  representatives  of  the  Gei-man  gov- 
ernment in  the  United  States."  ® 

Two  years  later,  in  August  1936,  according  to  a  file  memorandum 
of  Director  Hoover,  President  Roosevelt  asked  for  a  more  systematic 
collection  of  intelligence  about : 

subversive  activities  in  the  United  States,  particularly  Fas- 
cism and  Communism. 

Hoover  indicated  further  that  the  President  wanted : 

a  broad  picture  of  the  general  movement  and  its  activities 
as  [they]  may  affect  the  economic  and  political  life  of  the 
coimtry  as  a  whole. 

The  President  and  the  FBI  Director  discussed  the  means  by  which 
the  Bureau  might  collect  "general  intelligence  information"  on  this 
subject.^  The  only  record  of  Attorney  General  Homer  Cummings' 
knowledge  of,  or  authorization  for,  this  intelligence  assignment  is 
found  in  a  memorandum  from  Director  Hoover  to  his  principal  assist- 

h.  Orders  in  1938-39:  The  Vagueness  of  ^'■Subversive  Activities'^^ 

and  '•''PotentiaV  Crimes 

In  October  1938,  Director  Hoover  advised  President  Roosevelt  of 

the  "present  purposes  and  scope"  of  FBI  intelligence  investigations, 

"together  with  suggestions  for  expansion."  His  memorandum  stated 

that  the  FBI  was  collecting : 

^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Mr.  Cowley,  5/10/34. 

*  J.  Edgar  Hoover  memorandum  to  the  files,  8/24/36.  This  memorandum  states 
that,  earlier  in  the  conversation.  Director  Hoover  had  told  the  President : 

(i)  Communists  controlled  or  planned  to  take  control  of  the  West  Coast  long- 
shoreman's union,  the  United  Mine  Workers  Union  and  the  Newspaper  Guild  (and 
using  those  unions  would  l>e  "able  at  any  time  to  paralyze  the  country")  ; 

(ii)  "activities  .  .  .  inspired  by  Commvuiists"  had  recently  taken  place  in  the 
Government,  "particularly  in  some  of  the  Departments  and  the  National  Labor 
Relations  Board" ;  and 

(iii)  The  Communist  Internationale  had  recently  issued  instructions  for  all 
Communists  to  "vote  for  President  Roosevelt  and  against  Governor  Landon  be- 
cause of  the  fact  that  Governor  Landon  is  opposed  to  class  warfare." 

These  comments  indicate  that  the  Bureau  had  already  begun  some  intelli- 
gence gathering  on  Communists  and  activities  "inspired"  by  them  prior  to  any 
Presidential  order.  In  addition.  Hoover's  memorandum  referred  to  prior  intelli- 
gence collection  on  domestic  right-wing  figures  Father  Charles  Coughlin  and  Gen- 
eral Smediey  Butler. 

^°  Hoover  stated  that  Secretary  of  State  Hull  "at  the  President's  suggestion,  re- 
quested of  me,  the  representative  of  the  Department  of  .Justice,  to  have  investiga- 
tion made  of  the  subversive  activities  in  this  country,  including  communism  and 
fascism."  He  added  that  "the  Attorney  General  verbally  directed  me  to  proceed 
with  this  investigation."  (Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  E.  A.  Tamm, 


information  dealing  with  various  forms  of  activities  of  either 
a  subversive  or  so-called  intelligence  type.^^ 

Despite  the  references  in  Director  Hoover's  1938  memorandum  to 
"subversive-type"  investigations,  an  accompanying  letter  to  the  Pres- 
ident from  Attorney  General  Homer  Cummings  made  no  mention  of 
"subversion"  and  cited  only  the  President's  interest  in  "the  so-called 
espionage  situation."  ^^  Cummings'  successor,  Attorney  General  Frank 
Murphy,  appears  to  have  abandoned  the  term  "subversive  activities."  ^^ 
Moreover,  when  Director  Hoover  provided  Attorney  General  Frank 
Murphy  a  copy  of  his  1938  plan,  he  described  it,  without  mentioning 
"subversion,"  as  a  program  "intended  to  ascertain  the  identity  of  per- 
sons engaged  in  espionage,  counterespionage,  and  sabotage  of  a  nature 
not  loithin  the  specific  provisioo^s  of  prevailing  statutes.''^  ^*  [Emphasis 
added.]  Murphy  thereafter  recommended  to  the  President  that  he 
issue  an  order  concentrating  "investigation  of  all  espionage,  counter- 
espionage, and  sabotage  matters"  in  the  FBI  and  military  intelli- 

President  Roosevelt  agreeed  and  issued  an  order  which,  like 
Murphy's  letter,  made  no  mention  of  "subversive"  or  general  intel- 
ligence : 

It  is  my  desire  that  the  investigation  of  all  espionage,  coun- 
ter espionage,  and  sabotage  matters  be  controlled  and  handled 
by  the  Federal  Bureau  of  Investigation  of  the  Department  of 
Justice,  the  Military  Intelligence  Division  of  the  War  De- 
partment, and  the  Office  of  Naval  Intelligence  in  the  Navy 
Department.  The  directors  of  these  three  agencies  are  to 
function  as  a  committee  to  coordinate  their  activities. 

No  investigations  should  be  conducted  by  any  investigative 
agency  of  the  Government  into  matters  involving  actually  or 
potentially  any  espionage,  counterespionage,  or  sabotage,  ex- 

"  Memorandum  on  "domestic  intelligence,"  prepared  by  J.  Edgar  Hoover, 
enclosed  with  letter  from  Attorney  General  Cummings  to  Roosevelt,  10/20/38. 
Director  Hoover  met  with  the  President  who,  according  to  Hoover's  memo- 
randum, "approved  the  plan  which  I  had  prepared  and  which  had  been  sent 
to  him  by  the  Attorney  General."  (Memorandum  to  the  files  from  J.  Edgar 
Hoover,  11/7/3S.) 

"  Letter  from  Attorney  General  Cummings  to  the  President,  10/20/38. 

^'  On  2/7/39,  the  Assistant  to  the  the  Attorney  General  wrote  letters  to  the 
Secret  Service,  the  Bureau  of  Internal  Revenue,  the  Narcotics  Bureau,  the  Cus- 
toms Ser\-ice.  the  Coast  Guard,  and  the  Postal  Inspection  Service  stating  that  the 
FBI  and  military  intelligence  had  "undertaken  activities  to  investigate  matters 
relating  to  espionage  and  subversive  activities."  (Letter  from  J.  B.  Keenan,  As- 
sistant to  the  Attorney  General,  to  F.  J.  Wilson,  Chief,  Secret  Service,  2/7/39.) 

A  letter  from  Attorney  General  Murphy  to  the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury 
shortly  thereafter  also  referred  to  "subverisive  activities."  (Letter  from  Attorney 
General  Murphy  to  the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury,  2/16/39.) 

However,  a  similar  letter  two  days  later  referred  only  to  matters  "involving 
espionage,  counterespionage,  and  sabotage,"  without  mentioning  "subversive  ac- 
tivities." (I^ter  from  Attorney  General  Murphy  to  the  Secretary  of  the  Treas- 
ury, 2/18/39.)  This  may  have  reflected  a  decision  by  Murphy  to  cease  using  "sub- 
versive activities"  to  describe  FBI  investigations.  Tlie  record  does  not  clarify  the 
reason  for  his  deletion  of  the  phrase. 

"  Memorandum  from  T.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Murphy,  3/16/39. 
Murphy  was  aware  that  the  FBI  contemplated  investigations  of  subvensive  ac- 
tivities, since  Hoover  enclosed  his  1938  plan  with  this  memorandum. 

^°  Letter  from  Attorney  General  Murphy  to  the  President,  6/17/39. 


cept   by   the   three   agencies  mentioned   above.    [Emphasis 
added.]  ^^ 

Precisely  what  the  President's  reference  to  "potential"  espionage  or 
sabotage  was  intended  to  cover  was  unclear.  Whatever  it  meant,  it  was 
apparently  intended  to  be  consistent  with  Director  Hoover's  earlier 
description  of  the  FBI  program  to  Attorney  General  Murphy.^^ 

Three  months  later,  after  the  outbreak  of  Avar  in  Europe,  Director 
.Hoover  indicated  his  concern  that  private  citizens  might  provide 
information  to  the  "sabotage  squads"  which  local  police  departments 
were  creating  rather  than  to  the  FBI.  Hoover  urged  the  Attorney 
General  to  ask  the  President  to  request  local  officials  to  give  the  FBI 
all  information  concerning  "espionage,  counterespionage,  sabotage, 
subversive  activities,  and  neutrality  regulations."  ^^ 

The  President  immediately  issued  a  statement  which  continued  the 
confusing  treatment  of  the  breadth  of  the  FBI's  intelligence  authority. 
On  the  one  hand,  the  statement  began  by  noting  that  the  FBI  had  been 
instructed  to  investigate : 

matters  relating  to  espionage,  sabotage,  and  violations  of  the 
neutrality  regulations. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  President  concluded  by  adding  "subversive 
activities"  to  the  list  of  information  local  law  enforcement  officials 
should  relay  to  the  FBI." 

c.  Orders  19IfO-J^3:  The  Confusion  Continues 
President  Roosevelt  used  the  term  "subversive  activities"  in  a  secret 
directive  to  Attomev  General  Robert  Jackson  on  wiretapping  in  1940. 
Referrin.of  to  activities  of  other  nations  engaged  in  "propaganda  of  so- 
called  'fifth  columns'  "  and  "preparation  for  sabotage,"  he  directed 
the  Attorney  General  to  authorize  wiretaps  "of  persons  suspected  of 
subversive  activities  a<xainst  the  Government  of  the  United  States, 
includin5T  susnected  snies."  The  President  instructed  that  such  wire- 
taps be  limited  "insofar  as  possible"  to  aliens.'"  Neither  the  President 

"Confidential  Memorandum  from  the  President  to  Department  Heads,  6/26/39. 

^'  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Murphy,  3/16/39,  enclosing  Hoover  memoran- 
dum on  "domestic  intelligence,"  10/20/38. 

^'  Memorandum  from  ,J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Murphy,  9/6/39. 

"  Statement  of  the  President.  9/6/39. 

President  Roosevelt  never  formally  defined  "subversive  activities" — a  term 
whose  vagueness  has  proven  a  problem  throughout  the  FBI's  history.  However,  a 
hint  as  to  his  definition  is  contained  in  his  remarks  at  a  press  conference  on  Sep- 
tember 9,  19,39.  A  national  emergency  had  .iust  been  declared,  and  pursuant 
thereto,  the  President  had  issued  an  authorization  for  up  to  1.50  extra  FBI  agents 
to  handle  "additional  duties."  In  explaining  that  action,  he  stated  he  was 
concerned  about  "things  that  happened"  before  World  War  I.  specifically  "sabo- 
tage" and  "propaganda  by  both  belligerents"  to  "sway  public  opinion.  .  .  .  [I]t 
is  to  guard  that  and  the  spread  by  any  foreign  nation  of  propaganda  in 
this  nation  which  would  tend  to  be  subversive — I  believe  that  is  the  word — 
of  our  form  of  Government."  (19,39  Public  Papers  of  Franklin  D.  Roosevelt, 
pp.  49.V4f)6. ) 

"*•  Confidential  memorandum  from  President  Roosevelt  to  Attorney  General 
.Taekson,  ,5/21/40.  In  May  1941.  the  Secretary  of  War  and  the  Secretary  of  the 
Xavv  urged  "a  broadening  of  the  investigative  responsibility  of  the  Federal 
Bureau  of  Investigation  in  the  fields  of  sul)versive  control  of  labor."  (Memoran- 
dum from  the  Secretary  of  War  and  the  Secretary  of  the  Xavy  to  the  Presi- 
dent, ,5/29/41.)  The  President  replied  that  he  was  sending  their  letter  to  the 
Attorney  General  "with  my  general  approval."  (IMemorandum  from  President 
Roosevelt  to  the  Secretaries  of  War  and  Navy,  6/4/41.) 


nor  the  Attorney  General  subsequently  clarified  the  scope  of  the  FBI's 
authority  to  investigate  "subversive  activity." 

The  confusion  as  to  the  breadth  of  President  Koosevelt's  authoriza- 
tion reappeared  in  Attorney  General  Francis  Biddle's  description  of 
FBI  jurisdiction  in  1&42  and  in  a  new  Presidential  statement  in  1943. 

Bicldle  issued  a  lengthy  order  defining  the  duties  of  the  various  parts 
of  the  Justice  Department  in  September  1942.  Among  other  things,  the 
FBI  was  charged  with  a  duty  to  "investigate"  criminal  offenses  against 
the  United  States.  In  contrast,  the  FBI  was  to  function  as  a  "clear- 
ing house"  with  respect  to  "espionage,  sabotage,  and  other  subversive 
matters."  ^^ 

Four  months  later,  President  Roosevelt  renewed  his  public  appeal 
for  cooperation  by  police  and  other  "patriotic  organizations"  with  the 
FBI.  In  this  statement,  he  described  his  September  1939  order  as  grant- 
ing "investigative"  authority  to  the  FBI  for  "espionage,  sabotage,  and 
violation  of  the  neutrality  regulations."  The  President  did  not  adopt 
Attorney  General  Biddle's  "clearing-house"  characterization,  nor  did 
he  mention  "subversion."  ^^ 

^.  The  Role  of  Congress 

a.  Executive  Avoidance  of  Congress 

In  1938,  the  President,  the  Attorney  General,  and  the  FBI  Director 
explicitly  decided  not  to  seek  legislative  authorization  for  the  expand- 
ing domestic  intelligence  program. 

Attorney  General  Cummings  cautioned  that  the  plan  for  domestic 
intelligence  "should  be  held  in  the  stricest  confidence."  "  Director 
Hoover  contended  that  no  special  legislation  should  be  sought  "m 
order  to  avoid  criticism  or  objections  which  might  be  raised  to  such 
an  expansion  by  either  ill-informed  persons  or  individuals  with  some 
ulterior  motive."  [Emphasis  added.]  Hoover  thoug'ht  it  "undesirable 
to  seek  any  special  legislation  which  would  draw  attention  to  the  fact 
that  it  was  proposed  to  develop  a  special  counter-espionage  drive  of 
any  great  magnitude"  because  the  FBI's  intelligence  activity  was  al- 
ready "much  broader  than  espionage  or  counterespionage."  ^^ 

Director  Hoover  contended  that  the  FBI  had  authority  to  engage  in 
intelligence  activity  beyond  investigating  crimes  at  the  request  of  the 

=^  Attorney  General's  Order  No.  3732,  9/25/42,  p.  19.  But  see  Delimitation 
Agreement  between  the  FBI  and  Military  Intelligence,  2/9/42,  at  footnote  56. 

^  Statement  of  the  President  on  "Police  Cooperation,"  1/8/43.  A  note  in  the 
President's  handwriting  added  that  the  FBI  was  to  receive  information  "relat- 
ing to  espionage  and  related  matters."  (Copy  in  FDR  Library.) 

^Cummings  to  Roosevelt,  10/20/38. 

"  Hoover  memorandum,  enclosed  with  letter  from  Cummings  to  Roosevelt, 
10/20/38.  Director  Hoover's  full  point  was  that : 

"In  considering  the  steps  to  be  taken  for  the  expansion  of  the  present  structure 
of  intelligence  work,  it  is  believed  imperative  that  it  be  proceeded  with,  with  the 
utmost  degree  of  secrecy  in  order  to  avoid  criticism  or  objections  which  might  be 
rai.'sed  to  such  an  expansion  by  either  ill-informed  persons  or  individuals  having 
some  ulterior  motive.  The  word  'espionage'  has  long  been  a  word  that  has  been 
repugnant  to  the  American  people  and  it  is  believed  that  the  structure  which  is 
already  in  existence  is  much  broader  than  espionage  or  counterespionage,  but 
covers  in  a  true  sense  real  intelligence  values  to  the  three  services  interested, 
namely,  the  Navy,  the  Army,  and  the  civilian  branch  of  the  Government— the 
Department  of  Justice.  Consequently,  it  would  seem  undesirable  to  seek  any  spe- 
cial leeislation  which  would  draw  .attention  to  the  fact  that  it  was  proposed  to 
develop  a  si)ecial  counterespionage  drive  of  any  great  magnitude." 


Attorney  General  or  the  Department  of  State.  He  relied  on  an  amend- 
ment to  the  FBI  Appropriations  Act,  passed  before  World  War  I, 
authorizing  the  Attorney  General  to  appoint  officials  not  only  to  "de- 
tect and  prosecute"  federal  crimes  but  also  to : 

conduct  such  other  investigations  regarding  official  matters 
under  the  control  of  the  Department  of  Justice,  or  the  Depart- 
ment of  State,  as  may  be  directed  by  the  Attorney  General.^^ 

After  conflicts  with  the  State  Department  in  1939,  however,  the  FBI 
no  longer  relied  upon  this  vague  statute  for  its  authority  to  conduct 
intelligence  investigations,  instead  relying  upon  the  Executive  orders.^® 

h.  Congress  Declines  to  Confront  the  Issue 

Even  though  Executive  officials  originally  avoided  Congress  to 
prevent  criticism  or  objections,  after  the  President's  proclamation  of 
emergency  in  1939  they  began  to  inform  Congress  of  FBI  intelligence 
activities.  In  November  1939,  Director  Hoover  told  the  House  Appro- 
priations Committee  that  the  Bureau  had  set  up  a  General  Intelli- 
gence Division,  "by  authority  of  the  President's  proclamation."  ^^  And 
in  January  1940,  he  told  the  same  Committee  that  the  FBI  had  author- 
ity under  the  President's  September  6,  1939  statement  to  investigate 
espionage,  sabotage,  neutrality  violations,  and  "any  other  subversive 
activities."  ^^ 

There  is  no  evidence  that  the  Appropriations  Committee  objected 
or  inquired  further  into  the  meaning  of  that  last  vague  term,  although 
membei"S  did  seek  assurance  that  FBI  intelligence  could  be  curtailed 
when  the  wartime  emergency  ended.^® 

In  1940,  a  joint  resolution  was  introduced  by  New  York  City  Con- 
gressman Emmanuel  Celler  which  would  have  given  the  FBI  broad 
jurisdiction  to  investigate,  by  wiretapping  or  other  means,  or  "frus- 
trate" any  "interference  with  the  national  defense"  due  to  certain 
specified  crimes  (sabotage,  treason,  seditious  conspiracy,  espi- 
onage, and  violations  of  the  neutrality  laws)  or  "in  any  other  man- 
ner." ^°  Although  the  resolution  failed  to  reach  the  House  floor,  it  seems 
likely  that,  rather  than  opposing  domestic  intelligence  investigations, 
Congress  was  simply  choosing  to  avoid  the  issue  of  defining  the  FBI's 
intelligence  jurisdiction.  This  view  is  supported  by  Congress'  passage 
in  1940  and  1941  of  two  new  criminal  statutes :  the  Smith  Act  made 
it  a  crime  to  advocate  the  violent  overthrow  of  the  Government ;  ^^  and 
the  Voorhis  Act  required  "subversive"  organizations  advocating  the 

^28U.S.C.  533(3). 

^The  conflicts  between  the  FBI  and  the  State  Department  in  1939  are  dis- 
cussed at  footnote  54. 

^  Emergency  Supplemental  Appropriation  Bill,  1940,  Hearings  before  the  House 
Appropriations  Committee,  11/30/39,  pp.  303-307. 

In  fact,  the  FBI  had  established  a  General  Intelligence  Section  in  its  Investi- 
gative Division  shortly  after  the  President's  1936  requests.  Congress  was  not 
advised  of  the  Burefiu's  activities  undertaken  prior  to  September  1939,  nor 
of  the  President's  earlier  directives. 

^  .lustice  Department  Appropriation  Bill.  1941,  Hearings  before  the  House 
Ai)propriations  Committee,  1/5/40,  p.  151.  The  President's  1939  statement  did 
not  specifically  say  that  the  FBI  had  authority  to  investigate  "subversive  activi- 

^1939  Hearings,  p.  307;  First  Deficiency  Appropriation  Bill,  1941,  Hearings 
before  the  House  Appropriations  Committee,  2/19/41,  pp.  188-189. 

="  H..T.  Res.  571,  76th  Cong.,  2d  Sess.  (1940) . 

"^  18  U.S.C.  2385,  2387. 


Government's  violent  overthrow  and  having  foreign  ties  to  register  or 
be  subject  to  criminal  penalties.^^ 

Although,  as  indicated,  the  Executive  branch  disclosed  the  fact 
that  the  FBI  was  doing  intelligence  work  and  Congress  gen- 
erally raised  no  objection,  there  was  one  occasion  when  an  Execu- 
tive description  of  the  Bureau's  work  was  less  than  complete.  Follow- 
ing Director  Hoover's  testimony  about  the  establishment  of  an 
Intelligence  Division  and  some  public  furor  over  the  FBI  arrest  of 
several  Communist  Party  members  in  Detroit,  Senator  George  Norris 
(R.  Neb.)  asked  whether  the  Bureau  was  violating  Attorney  General 
Stone's  assurance  in  1924  that  it  would  conduct  only  criminal  in- 
vestigations. Attorney  General  Jackson  replied: 

Mr.  Hoover  is  in  agreement  with  me  that  the  principles 
which  Attorney  General  Stone  laid  down  in  1924  when  the 
Federal  Bureau  of  Investigation  was  reorganized  and  Mr. 
Hoover  appointed  as  Director  are  sound,  and  that  the  useful- 
ness of  the  Bureau  depends  upon  a  faithful  adherence  to  these 

The  Federal  Bureau  of  Investigation  will  confine  its  activi- 
ties to  the  investigation  of  violation  of  Federal  statutes,  the 
collecting  of  evidence  in  cases  in  which  the  United  States  is 
or  may  be  a  party  in  interest,  and  the  service  of  process  issued 
by  the  courts.^^ 

The  FBI  was,  in  fact,  doing  much  more  than  that  and  had  informed 
the  Appropriations  Committee  of  its  practice  in  general  terms.  Attor- 
ney General  Jackson  himself  stated  later  that  the  FBI  was  conducting 
"steady  surveillance"  of  persons  beyond  those  who  had  violated  fed- 
eral statutes,  including  persons  who  were  a  "likely  source"  of  federal 
law  violation  because  they  were  "sympathetic  with  the  systems  or 
designs  of  foreign  dictators."  ^* 

5.  Scope  of  Domestic  Intelligence 

a.  Beyond  Criminal  Investigations 
According  to  Director  Hoover's  account  of  his  meeting  with  Presi- 
dent Roosevelt  in  1936,  the  President  wanted  "a  broad  picture"  of  the 
impact  of  Communism  and  Fascism  on  American  life.^^  Similarly,  the 
FBI  Director  described  his  1938  plan  as  "broader  than  espionage" 
and  covering  "in  a  true  sense  real  intelligence."  ^^  Thus  it  appears  that 
one  of  the  first  purposes  of  FBI  domestic  intelligence  was  to  perform 
the  "pure  intelligence"  function  of  supplying  executive  oflficials  with 
information  believed  of  value  for  making  policy  decisions.  This  aspect 
of  the  assignment  to  investigate  "subversion"  was  entirely  unrelated 
to  the  enforcement  of  federal  criminal  laws.  The  second  purpose  of 
FBI  domestic  intelligence  gathering  was  essentially  "preventive," 

""18  U.S.C.  2386. 

^Letter  from  Attorney  General  Jackson  to  Senator  Norris,  86  Cong.  Rec. 

'*  Proceedines  of  the  Fedpral-State  Conference  on  Law  Enforcement  Problems 
of  National  Defense.  S/5-6/40. 

Several  months  earlier.  At+ornev  General  .Tackson  had  warned  federal  prose- 
cutors about  the  dangers  of  prosecuting  "subversives"  because  of  the  lack  of 
standards  and  the  daneer  of  overbreadth.  (Robert  H.  .Tackson.  "The  Federal 
Prosecutor."  Jourval  of  the  Americav  Jvflirature  Society,  6/40.  p.  18.) 

^  Hoover  memorandum  to  the  files,  8/24/.S6. 

^Hoover  memorandum,  enclosed  with  Cummings  to  Roosevelt,  10/20/38,  see 
p.  28. 


in  compliance  with  the  President's  June  1939  directive  to  investigate 
"potential"  espionage  or  sabotage.^^  As  war  moved  closer,  preventive 
intelligence  investigations  focused  on  individuals  who  might  be 
placed  on  a  Custodial  Detention  List  for  possible  internment  in  case 
of  war.^^ 

Both  pure  intelligence  about  "subversion"  and  preventive  intelli- 
gence about  "potential"  espionage  or  sabotage  involved  investigations 
based  on  political  affiliations  and  group  membership  and  association. 
The  relationship  to  law  enforcement  was  often  remote  and  speculative; 
the  Bureau  did  not  focus  its  intelligence  gathering  solely  on  tangible 
evidence  of  preparation  for  crime. 

Directives  implementing  the  general  preventive  intelligence  instruc- 
tion to  investigate  "potential"  espionage  or  sabotage  were  vague  and 
sweeping.  In  1939,  for  instance,  field  offices  were  told  to  investigate 
persons  of  German,  Italian,  and  Communist  "sympathies"  and  any 
other  persons  "whose  interests  may  be  directed  primarily  to  the  inter- 
est of  some  other  nation  than  the  United  States."  FBI  offices  were 
directed  to  report  the  names  of  members  of  German  and  Italian  so- 
cieties, "whether  they  be  of  a  fraternal  character  or  of  some  other 
nature,"  and  members  of  any  other  groups  "which  might  have  pro- 
nounced Nationalistic  tendencies."  The  Bureau  sought  lists  of 
subscribers  and  officers  of  German,  Italian,  and  Communist  foreign- 
language  newspapers,  as  well  as  of  other  newspapers  with  "notorious 
Nationalistic  sympathies."  ^^  The  FBI  also  made  confidential  inquiries 
regarding  "various  so-called  radical  and  fascist  organizations"  to 
identify  their  "leading  personnel,  purposes  and  aims,  and  the  part 
they  are  likely  to  play  at  a  time  of  national  crisis."  *" 

The  criteria  for  investigating  persons  for  inclusion  on  the  Custodial 
Detention  List  was  similarly  vague.  In  1939,  the  FBI  said  its  list  in- 
cluded persons  with  "strong  Nazi  tendencies"  and  "strong  Communist 
tendencies."  •*^  FBI  field  offices  were  directed  in  1940  to  gather  infor- 
mation on  individuals  who  would  be  considered  for  the  list  because 
of  their  "Communistic,  Fascist,  Nazi,  or  other  nationalistic  back- 
ground." ^^ 

h.  ''''InfiUratio'nP  Investigations 
The  FBI  based  its  pure  intelligence  investigations  on  a  theory  of 
subversive  "infiltration"  which  remained  an  essential  part  of  the 
rationale  for  domestic  intelligence  after  the  war:  anyone  who  hap- 
pened to  associate  with  Communists  or  Fascists  or  was  simply  alleged 
to  have  such  associations  became  the  subject  of  FBI  intelligence  re- 
ports.*^ Thus,  "subversive"  investigations  produced  intelligence  about 

^  Confidential  memorandum  from  the  President  to  Department  heads,  6/26/39. 

""  See  pp.  34-3.5. 

™  Tlie  above-mentioned  directives  were  all  contained  in  a  memorandum  from 
.T.  Edsrar  Hoover  to  FBI  Field  Offices,  9/2/39. 

"  Memorandum  from  Clyde  Tolson  to  .7.  Edgar  Hoover,  10/30/39. 

"  Internal  FBI  memorandum  of  E.  A.  Tamm.  11/9/39. 

"=  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  FBI  Field  Offices.  6/15/40. 

"  Director  Hoover  declared  in  1940  that  advocates  of  foreign  "isms"  had  "suc- 
ceeded in  boring  into  every  phase  of  American  life,  masquerading  behind  'front' 
organizations."  (Proceedings  of  the  Federal-State  Conference  on  Law  Enforce- 
ment Problems  of  National  Defense.  August  5-6,  1940.)  In  his  best-selling  book  on 
Commimists,  Hoover  stated,  "Infiltration  is  the  method  whereby  Party  members 
move  into  noncommunist  organizations  for  the  purpose  of  exercising  influence 
for  communism.  If  control  is  secured,  the  organization  becomes  a  communist 
front."  (J.  Edgar  Hoover,  Masters  of  Deceit  (New  York:  Henry  Holt,  1958), 
Ch.  16.) 


a  wide  variety  of  lawful  groups  and  law-abiding  citizens.  By  1938, 
the  FBI  was  investigating  alleged  subversive  infiltration  of: 

the  maritime  industry ; 

the  steel  industry; 

the  coal  industry ; 

the  clothing,  garment,  and  fur  industries ; 

the  automobile  industry ; 

the  newspaper  field  ; 

educational  institutions ; 

organized  labor  organizations ; 

Negroes ; 

youth  groups ; 

Government  affairs;  and 

the  armed  forces.*^ 

This  kind  of  intelligence  was  transmitted  to  the  White  House.  For 
example,  in  1937  the  Attorney  General  sent  the  President  an  FBI 
report  on  a  proposed  pilgrimage  to  Washington  to  urge  passage  of 
legislation  to  benefit  American  youth.  The  report  stated  that  the 
American  Youth  Congress,  which  sponsored  the  pilgrimage,  was 
understood  to  be  strongly  Communistic.*^  Later  reports  in  1937  de- 
scribed the  Communist  Party's  role  in  plans  by  the  Workers  Alliance 
for  nationwide  demonstrations  protesting  the  plight  of  the  unem- 
ployed, as  well  as  the  Alliance's  plans  to  lobby  Congress  in  support 
of  the  federal  relief  program.*^ 

Some  investigations  and  reports  (which  went  into  Justice  Depart- 
ment and  FBI  permanent  files)  covered  entirely  legal  political  activi- 
ties. For  example,  one  local  group  checked  by  the  Bureau  was  called 
the  League  for  Fair  Play,  which  furnished  "speakers  to  Rotary  and 
Kiwanis  Clubs  and  to  schools  and  colleges."  The  FBI  reported  in  1941 

the  organization  was  formed  in  1937,  apparently  by  two 
Ministers  and  a  businessman  for  the  purpose  of  furthering 
fair  play,  tolerance,  adherence  to  the  Constitution,  democracy, 
liberty,  justice,  understanding  and  good  will  among  all 
creeds,  races  and  classes  of  the  United  States. 

A   synopsis   of  the  report  stated,   "No   indications  of   Communist 
activities."  ^'^ 

In  1944,  the  FBI  prepared  an  extensive  intelligence  report  on  an 
active  political  group,  the  Independent  Voters  of  Illinois,  apparently 
because  it  was  considered  a  target  for  Communist  "infiltration."  The 
Independent  Voters  group  was  reported  to  have  been  formed : 

for  the  purpose  of  developing  neighborhood  political  units 
to  help  in  the  re-election  of  President  Roosevelt,  and  the  elec- 

"  Hoover  memorandum,  enclosed  with  Cummingrs  to  Roosevelt,  10/20/38. 

^Letter  from  Attorney  General  Cummings  to  the  President  (and  enclosure), 
1/30/.37  (FDR  Library). 

"  I^etter  from  Attorney  General  Cummings  to  the  President  (and  enclosure), 
8/13/37  (FDR  Library).* 

^^  Report  of  New  York  City  field  office.  10/22/41.  summarized  in  Justice  Denart- 
ment  memorandum  from  S.  Brodie  to  Assistant  Attorney  General  Quinn.  10/10/47. 


tion  of  progressive  congressmen.  Apparently,  IVI  endorsed 
or  aided  Democrats  for  the  most  part,  although  it  was  stated 
to  be  "independent."  It  does  not  appear  that  it  entered  its 
own  candidates  or  that  it  endorsed  any  Communists.  IVI 
sought  to  help  elect  those  candidates  who  would  favor  fight- 
ing inflation,  oppose  race  and  class  discrimination,  favor 
international  cooperation,  support  a  ''full-employment"  pro- 
gram, oppose  Facism,  etc.^^ 

Thus,  in  its  search  for  subversive  "influence,"  the  Bureau  gathered 
extensive  information  about  the  lawful  activities  of  left-liberal  polit- 
ical groups.  At  the  opposite  end  of  the  political  spectrum,  the  activities 
of  numerous  right-wing  groups  like  the  Christian  Front  and  Christian 
Mobilizers  (followers  of  Father  Coughlin),  the  American  Destiny 
Party,  the  American  Nationalist  Party,  and  even  the  less  extreme 
"America  First"  movement  were  reported  by  the  FBI.*^ 

c.  Partisan  Use 

The  collection  of  pure  intelligence  and  preventive  intelligence  about 
"subversives"  led  to  the  inclusion  in  FBI  files  of  political  intelligence 
about  the  President's  partisan  critics.  In  May  1940,  President  Roose- 
velt's secretary  sent  the  FBI  Director  hundreds  of  telegrams  received 
by  the  White  House.  The  attached  letter  stated : 

As  the  telegrams  all  were  more  or  less  in  opposition  to  na- 
tional defense,  the  President  thought  you  might  like  to  look 
them  over,  noting  the  names  and  addresses  of  the  senders.^" 

Additional  telegrams  expressing  approval  of  a  speech  by  one  of  the 
President's  leading  critics,  Colonel  Charles  Lindbergh,  were  also  re- 
ferred to  the  FBI.^^  A  domestic  intelligence  program  without  clearly 
defined  boundaries  almost  invited  such  action. 

d.  Centralized  Authority:  FBI  and  Military/  Intelligence 
The  basic  policy  of  President  Roosevelt  and  his  four  Attorneys  Gen- 
eral was  to  centralize  civilian  authority  for  domestic  intelligence  in 
the  FBI.  Consolidation  of  domestic  intelligence  was  viewed  as  a  means 
of  protecting  civil  liberties.  Recalling  the  hysteria  of  World  War  I, 
Attorney  General  Frank  Murphy  declared : 

Twenty  years  ago,  inhuman  and  cruel  things  were  done  in 
the  name  of  justice ;  sometimes  vigilantes  and  others  took  over 
the  work.  We  do  not  want  such  things  done  today,  for  the 
work  has  now  been  localized  in  the  FBI.^^ 

Centralization  of  authority  for  domestic  intelligence  also  served  the 
FBI's   bureaucratic   interests.    Director   Hoover   complained    about 

"Report  of  Chicago  field  oflBce.  12/29/44.  summarized  in  Justice  Department 
memorandum  from  R.  Brodie  to  Assistant  Attorney  General  Quinn,  10/9/47. 

"  Justice  Department  memorandum  re  :  Christian  Front,  10/28/41. 

^  Letter  from  Stephen  Early,  Secretary  to  the  President,  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover, 
5/21/40  (FDR  Library). 

^'Memorandum  from  Stephen  Early,  Secretary  to  the  President,  to  J.  Edgar 
Hoover,  6/17/40. 

^  New  York  Times,  10/1/39,  p.  38. 

3-786  O  -  76  -  4 


attempts  by  other  agencies  to  "literally  chisel  into  this  type  of 
work."  ^*  He  exhorted :  "We  don't  want  to  let  it  slip  away  from  us."  " 

Pursuant  to  President  Roosevelt's  1939  directive  authorizing  the 
FBI  and  military  intelligence  to  conduct  all  investigations  of  "poten- 
tial" espionage  and  sabotage,  an  interagency  Delimitation  Agreement 
in  June  1940  assigned  most  such  domestic  intelligence  work  to  the 
FBI.  As  revised  in  February  1942,  the  Agreement  covered  "investiga- 
tion of  all  activities  coming  under  the  categories  of  espionage,  sub- 
version and  sabotage."  The  FBI  was  responsible  for  all  investigations 
"involving  civilians  in  the  United  States"  and  for  keeping  the  military 
informed  of  "the  names  of  individuals  definitely  known  to  be  con- 
nected with  subversive  activities."  ^^ 

The  military  intelligence  agencies  were  interested  in  intelligence 
about  civilian  activity.  In  fact,  they  requested  extensive  information 
about  civilians  from  the  FBI.  In  JNIay  1939,  for  instance,  the  Army  G-2 
Military  Intelligence  Division  (MID)  transmitted  a  request  for  tlie 
names  and  locations  of  "citizens  opposed  to  our  participation  in  war 
and  conducting  anti-war  propaganda."  ^'^  Despite  the  Delimitation 
Agreement,  the  MID's  Counterintelligence  Corps  collected  intelligence 
on  civilian  "subversive  activity"  as  part  of  a  preventive  security  pro- 
gram using  volunteer  informers  and  investigators.'^ 

6.  Control  by  the  Attortiey  General:  Compliance  and  Resistance 

The  basic  outlines  of  the  FBI's  domestic  intelligence  program  were 
approved  by  Attorney  General  Cummings  in  1938  and  Attorney  Gen- 
eral Murphy  in  1939.^*^  Director  Hoover  also  asked  Attorney  General 
Jackson  in  1940  for  policy  guidance  concerning  the  FBI's  "suspect  list 

"  Memorandum  from  .T.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Murphy,  3/16/39. 
The  "literally  chisel"  reference  reflects  concern  with  a  State  Department  attempt 
to  "coordinate"  all  domestic  intelligence.  It  may  explain  why,  after  1988,  the 
FBI  no  longer  relied  for  its  intelligence  authority  on  the  statutory  provision  for 
FBI  investigations  of  "oflBcial  matters  under  control  of  .  .  .  the  Department  of 
State."  Director  Hoover  stated  that  the  FBI  required  State  Department  author- 
ization only  where  "the  subject  of  a  particular  investigation  enjoys  any  diplomatic 

"Note  attached  to  letter  from  Col.  J.  M.  Churchill,  Army  G-2,  to  Mr.  E.  A. 
Tamm,  FBI,  5/16/39. 

"  Delimitation  of  Investigative  Duties  of  the  Federal  Bureau  of  Investigation, 
the  Office  of  Naval  Intelligence,  and  the  Military  Intelligence  Division.  2/9/42. 

^^  Memorandum  from  Colonel  Churchill,  Counter  Intelligence  Branch,  MID, 
to  E.  A.  Tamm,  FBI,  5/16/39. 

^  Victor  J.  Johanson,  "The  Role  of  the  Army  in  the  Civilian  Arena,  1920-1970," 
U.S.  Army  Intelligence  Command  Study  (1971).  The  scope  of  wartime  Army 
intelligence  has  been  summarized  as  follows  : 

"It  reported  on  radical  labor  groups,  communists,  Nazi  sympathizers,  and 
'semi-radical'  groups  concerned  with  civil  liberties  and  pacifism.  The  latter,  well 
intentioned  but  impractical  groups  as  one  corps  area  intelligence  officer  labeled 
them,  were  playing  into  the  hands  of  the  more  extreme  and  realistic  radical  ele- 
ments. G-2  still  believed  that  it  had  a  right  to  investigate  •'semi-radicals'  because 
they  undermined  adherence  to  the  established  order  by  propaganda  through 
newspapers,  periodicals,  schools,  and  churches."  (Joan  M.  Jensen.  "Military  Sur- 
veillance of  Civilians,  1917-1967,"  in  Military  InteJligencc.  Hearings  before  the 
Senate  Subcommittee  on  Constitutional  Rights  (1974),  pp.  174-175.) 

^*  Letter  from  Attorney  General  Cummings  to  the  President,  10/20/38;  letter 
from  Attorney  General  Murphy  to  the  President,  6/17/39.  The  confusion  as  to 
whether  Attomev  General  Murphy,  Attorney  General  Jackson  and  Attorney 
General  Biddle  defined  the  FBI's  duties  to  cover  investigation  of  "subversive  ac- 
tivities" is  indicated  at  footnotes  13,  21  and  34. 


of  individuals  whose  arrest  might  be  considered  necessaiy  in  the  event 
the  United  States  becomes  involved  in  war."  ^^ 

The  FBI  Director  initially  opposed,  however,  Attorney  General 
Jackson's  attempt  to  require  more  detailed  supervision  of  the  FBI's 
role  in  the  Custodial  Detention  Program.  To  oversee  this  program  and 
other's,  Jackson  created  a  Neutrality  Laws  Unit  (later  renamed  the 
Special  War  Policies  Unit)  in  the  Justice  Department.  When  the 
Unit  proposed  to  review  FBI  intelligence  reports  on  individuals, 
Director  Hoover  protested  that  turning  over  the  FBI's  confidential 
reports  would  I'isk  the  possibility  of  "leaks."  He  argued  that  if  the 
identity  of  confidential  informants  became  known,  it  would  endanger 
their  "life  and  safety"  and  thus  the  Department  would  "abandon" 
the  "subversives  field."  ^^ 

After  five  months  of  negotiation,  the  FBI  was  ordered  to  transmit 
its  "dossiers"  to  the  Justice  Department  Unit.^^  To  satisfy  the  FBI's 
concerns,  the  Department  agreed  to  take  no  formal  action  against  an 
individual  if  it  "might  interfere  with  sound  investigative  techniques" 
and  not  to  disclose  confidential  informants  without  the  Bureau's  "prior 
approval."  *^^  Thus,  from  1941  to  1943,  the  Justice  Department  had  the 
machinery  to  oversee  at  least  this  aspect  of  FBI  domestic  intelligence.^* 

In  1943,  however,  Attorney  General  Biddle  ordered  that  the  Cus- 
todial Detention  List  should  be  abolished  as  "impractical,  unwise,  and 
dangerous."  His  directive  stated  that  there  was  "no  statutory  author- 
ity or  other  present  justification"  for  keeping  the  list.  The  Attorney 
General  concluded  that  the  system  for  classifying  "dangerous"  persons 
was  "inherently  unreliable;"  the  evidence  used  was  "inadequate;"  and 
the  standards  applied  were  "defective."  ®^  Biddle  observed : 

the  noition  that  it  is  possible  to  make  a  valid  detennination  as 
to  hoAV  dangerous  a  person  is  in  tlie  abstract  and  without 
reference  to  time,  environment,  and  other  relevant  circum- 
stances, is  impractical,  unwise,  and  dangerous. 

Returning  to  the  basic  standard  espoused  bj^  Attorney  General  Stone, 
Attorney  General  Biddle  declared : 

The  Department  fulfills  its  proper  function  by  investigating 
the  activities  of  persons  who  may  have  violated  the  law.  It  is 
not  aided  in  this  work  by  classifying  persons  as  to  dangerous- 

•'  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Jackson,  10/16/40. 

"  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  L.M.C.  Smith,  Chief,  Neutrality  Law 
Unit,  11/28/40. 

"^Memorandum  from  M.  F.  McGuire,  Assistant  to  the  Attorney  General,  to 
J.  Edgar  Hoover  and  L.  M.  C.  Smith,  4/21/41. 

"  Memorandum  from  M.  F.  McGuire,  Assistant  to  the  Attorney  General,  to 
.J.  Edgar  Hoover,  4/17/41. 

*"  The  Custodial  Detention  Program  should  not  be  confused  with  the  intern- 
ment of  Japanese  Americans  in  1942.  The  mass  detention  of  Americans  solely  on 
the  basis  of  race  was  exactly  what  the  Program  was  designed  to  prevent,  by 
making  it  possible  for  the  government  to  decide  in  individual  cases  whether  a 
person  should  be  arrested  in  the  event  of  war.  When  the  Program  was  imple- 
mented after  Pearl  Harbor,  it  was  limited  to  dangerous  enemy  aliens  only.  FBI 
Director  Hoover  opposed  the  mass  round-up  of  Japanese  Americans. 

*'  Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Biddle  to  Assistant  Attorney  General 
Cox  and  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  Director,  FBI,  7/16/43. 

*•  Memorandum  for  Attorney  General  Biddle  to  Assistant  Attorney  General  Cox 
and  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  Director,  FBI,  7/16/43. 


Upon  recedpt  of  tliis  order,  tlie  FBI  Diroctor  did  not  in  fact  abolish 
its  list.  The  FBI  continued  to  maintain  an  index  of  persons  "who 
may  be  dangerous  or  potentially  dangferous  to  the  public  safety  or 
internal  security  of  the  United  States."'  In  i^esponse  to  the  Attorney 
General's  order,  the  FBI  merely  changed  the  name  of  the  list  from 
Custodial  Detention  List  to  Security  Index.  Instructions  to  the  field 
stated  that  the  Security  Index  should  be  kept  "strictly  confidential," 
and  that  it  should  iiever  be  mentioned  in  FBI  repoits  or  "discussed 
with  agencies  or  individuals  outside  the  Bureau"  except  for  military 
intelligence  agencies.*^' 

This  incident  provides  an  example  of  tlie  FBI's  ability  to  conduct 
domestic  intelligence  operations  in  opposition  to  the  policies  of  an 
Attorney  General.  Despite  Attorney  General  Biddle's  order,  the  "dan- 
gerousness"  list  continued  to  be  kept,  and  investigations  in  support  of 
that  list  continued  to  be  a  significant  part  of  the  Bureau's  work. 

7.  Intrusive  Techniques:  Questionable  Authorization 

a.  Wiretaps:  A  Strained  Statutory  Interpretation 

In  1940,  President  Roosevelt  authorized  Fl^I  wiretapping  against 
"persons  suspected  of  subversive  activities  against  the  United  States, 
including  suspected  spies,"  requiring  the  specific  approval  of  the  At- 
torney General  for  each  tap  and  directing  that  they  be  limited  "insofar 
as  possible  to  aliens."  ^^ 

This  order  was  issued  in  the  face  of  the  Federal  Communications 
Act  of  1934,  which  had  prohibited  wiretapping.^^  However,  the  Attor- 
ney General  interpreted  the  Act  of  1934  so  as  to  permit  government 
wiretapping.  Since  the  Act  made  it  unlaw^ful  to  "intercept  and  di- 
vulge" communications,  Attorney  General  Jackson  contended  that  it 
did  not  apply  if  there  was  no  divulgence  outside  the  Government. 
[Emphasis  added.]  ^°  Attorney  General  Jackson's  questionable  in- 
terpretation was  accepted  by  succeeding  Attorneys  General  (until 
1968)  but  never  by  the  courts.^^ 

Jackson  infonned  the  Congress  of  his  interpretation.  Congress  con- 
sidered enacting  an  exception  to  the  1934  Act,  and  held  hearings  in 
which  Director  Hoover  said  wiretapping  was  "of  considerable  im- 
portance" because  of  the  "gravity"  to  "national  safety"  of  such  of- 

^^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edg^ar  Hoover  to  FBI  Field  Offices.  Ro :  Dangerousness 
Classification,  S/14/4^.  This  is  the  only  document  pertaining  to  Director  Hoover's 
decision  which  appears  in  the  material  proA'ided  by  the  FBI  to  the  Select  Com- 
mittee covering  Bureau  ix>licies  for  the  "Security  Index."  The  FBI  iutei-preted 
the  Attorney  General's  order  as  applying  only  to  "the  dangerous  classifications 
previously  made  by  the  .  .  .  Special  War  Policies  Unit"  of  the  Justice  Depart- 
ment. (The  full  text  of  the  Attorney  General's  order  and  the  FBI  directive  appear 
in  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  pp.'  412-415.) 

^  Confidential  memorandum  from  President  Roosevelt  to  Attornev  General 
Jackson.  5/21/40. 

®'47  U.S.C.  605.  The  Supreme  Court  held  that  this  Act  made  wiretap-obtained 
evidence  or  the  fruits  thereof  inadmissible  in  federal  criminal  Nardone  v. 
United  States,  302  U.S.  379  (1937)  ;  308  U.S.  338  (1939) . 

'"  Letter  from  Attorney  General  Jackson  to  Rep.  Hatton  Summers.  3/19/41. 

"E.g.,  United  States  v.  Biitenko,  494  F.2d  593  (3d  Cir.  1974),  eert.  denied 
sub  nom.  Iranov  v.  United  States,  419  U.S.  881  (1974).  The  Court  of  Appeals  held 
in  this  case  that  warrantless  wiretapping  could  only  be  justified  on  a  theory  of 
inherent  Presidential  power,  and  questioned  the  statutory  interpretation  relied 
upon  since  Attorney  General  Jackson's  time.  Until  1967,  the  Supreme  Court  did 
not  rule  that  wiretapping  violated  the  Fourth  Amendment.  [Olmstead  v.  United 
States,  275  U.S.  557  (1927)  ;  Katz  v.  United  States,  389  U.S.  347  (1967).] 


fenses  as  espionage  and  sabotageJ^  Apparently  relying  upon  Jackson's 
statutory  interpretation,  Congress  then  dropped  tlie  matter,  leaving 
the  authorization  of  wiretaps  to  Executive  discretion,  without  either 
statutory  standards  or  the  requirement  of  a  judicial  warrant." 

The  potential  for  misuse  of  wiretapping  was  demonstrated  during 
this  period  by  several  FBI  wiretaps  approved  by  the  Attorney  General 
or  by  the  White  House.  In  1941,  Attorney  General  Biddle  approved 
a  wiretap  on  the  Los  Angeles  Chamber  of  Commerce  with  the  caveat : 

There  is  no  record  of  espionage  at  this  time;  and,  unless 
within  a  month  from  today  there  is  some  evidence  connect- 
ing the  Chamber  of  Commerce  with  espionage,  I  think  the 
surveillance  should  be  discontinued.'^* 

However,  in  another  case  Biddle  disapproved  an  FBI  request  to  wire- 
tap a  Philadelphia  bookstore  "engaged  in  the  sale  of  Communist  litera- 
ture" and  frequented  by  "important  Communist  leaders"  in  lO-tl.'^'^ 

Materials  located  in  Director  Hoover's  "Official  and  Confidential'' 
file  indicate  that  President  Koosevelt's  aide  Harry  Hopkins  asked  the 
FBI  to  wiretap  his  own  home  telephone  in  1944.  Additional  reports 
from  "technical"  surveillance  of  an  unidentified  target  were  sent  to 
Hopkins  in  May  and  July  1945,  when  he  served  as  an  aide  to  Presi- 
dent Truman.'*' 

In  1945  two  Truman  White  House  aides,  E.  D.  McKim  and  General 
H.  H.  Vaughn,  received  reports  of  electronic  surveillance  of  a  high 
executive  official.  One  of  these  i-eports  included  "transcripts  of  tele- 
phone conversations  between  [the  official]  and  Justice  Felix  Frank- 
furter and  between  [the  official]  and  Drew  Pearson."  ''^^ 

From  June  1945  until  May  1948,  General  Vaughn  received  reports 
from  electronic  surveillance  of  a  former  Roosevelt  AVhite  House  aide. 
A  memorandum  by  J.  Edgar  Hoover  indicates  that  Attorney  General 
Tom  Clark  "authorized  the  placing  of  a  technical  surveillance"  on  this 
individual  and  that,  according  to  Clark,  President  Truman  "was  par- 
ticularly concerned"  about  the  activities  of  this  individual  "and  his 
associates"  and  wanted  "a  very  thorough  investigation"  so  that  "steps 
might  be  taken,  if  possible,  to  see  that  such  activities  did  not  interfere 
with  the  proper  administration  of  government."  Hoover's  memoran- 
dum did  not  indicate  what  these  "activities"  were.^'^" 

'"  Hearings  before  the  House  Judiciary  Committee,  To  Autliorize  Wiretapping, 
77th  Cong.,  1st  Sess.  ( 1941 ) ,  p.  112. 

"  Congress  continued  to  refrain  from  setting  wiretap  standard.?  until  1968 
wlien  the  Ominbus  Crime  Control  Act  was  passed.  Tlie  Act  was  limited  to  crimi- 
nal cases  and,  once  again,  avoided  the  issue  of  intelligence  wiretaps.  [18  U.S.C. 

'*  Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Riddle  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  11/19/41. 
Biddle  advi.sed  Hoover  that  wiretaps  (or  "technical  surveillances")  would  not 
be  authorized  unless  there  was  "information  leading  to  the  conclusion  that  the 
activities  of  any  particular  individual  or  group  are  connected  with  espionage 
or  are  authorized  sources  outside  of  this  country." 

'"  Memorandum  from  .T.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Biddle.  10/2/41 ; 
memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Biddle  to  .7.  Edgar  Hoover,  10/22/41. 

""'  Memorandum  from  FBI  to  Select  Committee,  .3/26/76  and  enclosures. 

'"'  ^Memorandum  from  I).  M.  Ladd  to  Hoover,  .5/2.3/45. 

""•  Hoover  memorandum,  11/15/45 ;  a  memorandum  headed  "Summaries  De- 
livered ti)  the  White  House"  lists  over  175  reports  sent  to  General  Vaughn  from 
this  surveillance ;  memorandum  from  FBI  to  Select  Committee,  3/26/76,  aniJ 


h.  Bugging,  Mail  Opening,  and  Surreptitious  Entry. 

Intrusive  techniques  such  as  bugging,  mail  opening  and  surreptitious 
entry  were  used  by  the  FBI  without  even  tlie  kind  of  formal  Presi- 
dential authorization  and  requirement  of  Attorney  General  approval 
that  applied  to  warrantless  wiretapping. 

During  the  war,  the  FBI  began  "chamfering"  or  surreptitious  mail 
opening,  to  supplement  the  overt  censorship  of  international  mail 
authorized  by  statute  in  wartime."  The  practice  of  surreptitious  en- 
try— or  breaking-and-entering — was  also  used  by  the  FBI  in  war- 
time intelligence  operations.'*  The  Bureau  continued  or  resumed  the 
use  of  these  techniques  after  the  war  without  explicit  outside 

Furthermore,  the  installation  of  microphone  surveillance  ("bugs"), 
either  with  or  without  trespass,  was  exempt  from  the  procedure  for 
Attorney  General  approval  of  wiretaps.  Justice  Department  records 
indicate  that  no  Attorney  General  formally  considered  the  question 
of  microphone  surveillance  involving  trespass,  except  on  a  hypotheti- 
cal basis,  until  1952.^^ 

C.  Domestic  Intelligence  i:Sr  the  Cold  War  ERA :  1946-1963 

1.  Main  Developments  of  the  19Jf6-1963  Period 

The  domestic  intelligence  programs  of  the  FBI  and  the  military 
intelligence  agencies,  wliich  were  established  under  presidential  au- 
thority before  World  War  II,  did  not  cease  with  the  end  of  hostilities. 
Instead,  they  set  the  pattern  for  decades  to  come. 

Despite  Director  Hoover's  statement  that  the  intelligence  structure 
could  be  "discontinued  or  very  materially  curtailed"  with  the  termi- 
nation of  the  national  emergency,  after  the  war  intelligence  operations 
were  neither  discontinued  nor  curtailed.*°  Congressional  deference  to 
the  executive  branch,  the  broad  scope  of  investigations,  the  growth  of 
the  FBI's  power,  and  the  substantial  immunity  of  the  Bureau  from 
effective  outside  supervision  became  increasingly  significant  features 
of  domestic  intelligence  in  the  United  States.  New  domestic  intelligence 
functions  were  added  to  previous  responsibilities.  No  attempt  was 

"  FBI  memorandum  from  C.  E.  Hennrich  to  A.  H.  Belmont,  9/7/51. 

"  Memoramlum  from  the  FBI  to  the  Senate  Select  Committee,  9/23/75. 

™A  1944  Justice  Department  memorandum  discussed  the  "admissibility  of 
evidence  obtained  by  trash  covers  and  microphone  surveillance,"  in  response  to 
a  series  of  hypothetical  questions  submitted  by  the  FBI.  The  memorandum 
concluded  that  evidence  so  obtained  was  admissible  even  if  the  microphone  sur- 
veillance involved  a  trespass.  (Memorandum  from  Alexander  Holtzoff,  Special 
Assistant  to  the  Attorney  General,  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  7/4/44;  c.f.,  memorandum 
from  Attorney  General  J.  Howard  McGrath  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  2/26/52.)  See 
footnote  229  for  the  1950s  consideration  of  bugs  by  the  Attorney  General. 

™  In  early  1941,  Director  Hoover  had  had  the  following  exchange  with  members 
of  the  Appropriations  Committee  : 

"Mr.  Ludlow.  At  the  close  of  the  present  emergency,  when  i^eace  comes,  it 
would  mean  that  much  of  this  emergency  work  necessarily  will  be  discontinued." 

"Mr.  Hoover.  That  is  correct.  ...  If  the  national  emergency  should  terminate, 
the  structure  dealing  with  national  defense  can  immediately  be  discontinued  or 
very  materially  curtailed  according  to  the  wishes  of  Congress."  {First  Deficiency 
Appropriation  Bill,  19Jfl,  Hearings  before  the  House  Committee  on  Appropria- 
tions, 3/19/41,  pp. 188-189. ) 


made  to  enact  a  legislative  charter  replacing  the  wartime  emergency 
orders,  as  was  done  in  the  foreign  intelligence  field  in  1947. 

The  main  developments  during  the  Cold  "War  era  may  be  summa- 
rized as  follows : 

a.  Domestic  Intelligence  Authority 

During  this  period  there  was  a  national  consensus  regarding  the 
danger  to  the  United  States  from  Communism;  little  distinction  was 
made  between  the  threats  posed  by  the  Soviet  Union  and  by  Commu- 
nists within  this  country.  Domestic  intelligence  activity  was  supported 
by  that  consensus,  although  not  specifically  authorized  by  the  Congress. 

Formal  authority  for  FBI  investigations  of  "subversive  activity" 
and  for  the  agreements  between  the  FBI  and  military  intelligence  was 
explicitly  granted  in  executive  directives  from  Presidents  Truman 
and  Eisenhower,  the  National  Security  Council,  and  Attorney  Gen- 
eral Kennedy.  These  directives  provided  no  guidance,  however,  for 
conducting  or  controlling  such  investigations. 

6.  &coye  of  Domestic  Intelligence 

The  breadth  of  the  FBI's  investigation  of  ''subversive  infiltration" 
continued  to  produce  intelligence  reports  and  massive  files  on  lawful 
groups  and  law-abiding  citizens  who  happened  to  associate,  even 
unwittingly,  with  Communists  or  with  socialists  unconnected  with  the 
Soviet  Union  who  used  revolutionary  rhetoric.  At  the  same  time,  the 
scope  of  FBI  intelligence  expanded  to  cover  civil  rights  protest  activ- 
ity as  well  as  violent  '""Klan-type"  and  "hate"  groups,  vocal  anticom- 
munists,  and  prominent  opponents  of  racial  integration.  The  vague- 
ness of  the  FBI's  investigative  mandate  and  the  overbreadth  of  its 
collection  programs  also  placed  it  in  position  to  supply  the  "\Aniite 
House  with  numerous  items  of  domestic  political  intelligence  appar- 
ently desired  by  Presidents  and  their  aides. 

In  response  to  White  House  and  congressional  interest  in  right- 
wing  organizations,  the  Internal  Revenue  Service  began  comprehen- 
sive investigations  of  riglit-wing  groups  in  1961  and  later  expanded 
to  left-wing  organizations.  This  effort  was  directed  at  identifying 
contributions  and  ascertaining  whether  tlie  organizations  were  entitled 
to  maintain  their  exempt  status. 

c.  Accountability  and  Control 

Pervasive  secrecy  enabled  the  FBI  and  the  Justice  Department  to 
disregard  as  "unworkable"  the  Emergency  Detention  Act  intended  to 
set  standards  for  aspects  of  domestic  intelligence.  The  FBI's  independ- 
ent position  also  allowed  it  to  withhold  significant  information  from  a 
presidential  commission  and  from  eveiT  Attorney  General ;  and  no 
Attorney  General  inquired  fully  into  the  Bureau's  operations. 

During  the  same  period,  apprehensions  about  having  a  "security 
police"  influenced  Congress  to  prohibit  the  Central  Intelligence 
Agency  from  exercising  law  enforcement  poAvers  or  performing  "inter- 
nal security  functions.''  Nevertheless,  in  secret  and  without  effective 
internal  controls,  the  CIA  undertook  programs  for  testing  chemical 
and  biological  agents  on  unwitting  Americans,  sometimes  with  tragic 
consequences.  The  CIA  also  used  American  private  institutions  as 


"cover"    and    used    intrusive    techniques    affecting    the    rights    of 

d.  Intrusive  Techniques 

The  CIA  and  the  National  Security  Agency  illegally  instituted  pro- 
grams for  the  interception  of  international  communications  to  and 
from  American  citizens,  primarily  first  class  mail  and  cable  traffic. 

During  this  period,  the  FBI  also  used  intrusive  intelligence  gather- 
ing techniques  against  domestic  "subversives"  and  counterintelligence 
targets.  Sometimes  these  techniques  were  covered  by  a  blanket  dele- 
gation of  authority  from  the  Attorney  General,  as  with  microphone 
surveillance ;  but  frequently  they  were  used  without  outside  authoriza- 
tion, as  with  mail  openings  and  surreptitious  entry.  Only  conventional 
wiretaps  required  the  Attorney  General's  approval  in  each  case,  but 
this  method  was  still  misused  due  to  the  lack  of  adequate  standards 
and  procedural  safeguards. 

e.  Domestic  Covert  Action 

In  the  mid-fifties,  the  FBI  developed  the  initial  COINTELPRO 
operations,  whicli  used  aggressive  covert  actions  to  disrupt  and  dis- 
credit Communist  Party  activities.  The  FBI  subsequently  expanded 
its  COINTELPRO  activities  to  discredit  peaceful  protest  groups 
whom  Communists  had  infiltrated  but  did  not  control,  as  well  as 
groups  of  socialists  who  used  revolutionary  rhetoric  but  had  no  con- 
nections with  a  hostile  foreign  power. 

Throughout  this  period,  there  was  a  mixture  of  secrecy  and  dis- 
closure. Executive  action  was  often  substituted  for  legislation,  some- 
times with  the  full  laiowledge  and  consent  of  Congress  and  on  other 
occasions  without  informing  Congress  or  by  advising  only  a  select 
group  of  legislators.  There  is  no  question  that  Congress,  the  courts, 
and  the  public  expected  the  FBI  to  gather  domestic  intelligence  about 
Communists.  But  the  broad  scope  of  FBI  investigations,  its  specific 
programs  for  achieving  "pure  intelligence"  and  ''preventive  intelli- 
gence" objectives,  and  its  use  of  intrusive  techniques  and  disruptive 
counterintelligence  measures  against  domestic  "subversives"  were  not 
fully  known  by  anyone  outside  the  Bureau. 

2.  Dotnestic  Intelligence  AuthoHty 
a.  Anti-C ommunist  Consensus 
During  the  Cold  War  era,  the  strong  consensus  in  favor  of  govern- 
mental action  against  Communists  was  reflected  in  decisions  of  the 
Supreme  Court  and  acts  of  Congress.  In  the  Korean  War  period,  for 
instance,  the  Supreme  Court  upheld  the  conviction  of  domestic  Com- 
munist Party  leaders  under  the  Smith  Act  for  conspiracy  to  advocate 
violent  overthrow  of  the  government.  The  Court  pinned  its  decision 
upon  the  conspiratorial  nature  of  the  Communist  Party  of  the  United 
States  and  its  ideological  links  with  the  Soviet  Union  at  a  time  of 
stress  in  Soviet-American  relations.^^ 

®^  The  Conrt  held  that  the  grave  and  probable  danger  posed  by  the  Comnuinist 
Party   justified   this   restriction   on  free  speech   inider  the   First  Amendment : 

"The  formation  by  petitioners  of  such  a  highly  organized  conspiracy,  with 
rigidly  disciplined  members  subject  to  call  when  the  leaders,  these  petitioners, 
felt  that  the  time  had  come  for  action,  coupled  with  the  inflammable  nature  of 


Several  statutes  buttressed  the  FBI's  claim  of  legitimacy  for  at  least 
some  aspects  of  domestic  intelligence.  Although  Congress  never  di- 
rectly authorized  Bureau  intelligence  operations,  Congress  enacted  the 
Internal  Security  Act  of  1950  over  President  Truman's  veto.  Its  two 
main  provisions  were :  the  Subversives  Activities  Control  Act,  requir- 
ing the  registration  of  members  of  communist  and  communist  "front"' 
groups ;  and  the  Emergency  Detention  Act,  providing  for  the  intern- 
ment in  an  emergency  of  pei-sons  who  might  engage  in  espionage  or 
sabotage.  In  this  Act,  Congress  made  findings  that  the  Communist 
Party  was  "  a  disciplined  organization"  operating  in  this  nation  "under 
Soviet  Union  control"  with  the  aim  of  installing  "a  Soviet  style  dic- 
tatorship.'' *-  Going  even  further  in  1954,  Congress  passed  the  Com- 
munist Control  Act,  which  provided  that  the  Communist  Party  was 
"not  entitled  to  any  of  the  rights,  privileges,  and  immunities  attendant 
upon  legal  bodies  created  under  the  jurisdiction  of  the  laws  of  the 
United  States."  ^^ 

In  1956,  the  Supreme  Court  recognized  the  existence  of  FBI  intelli- 
gence aimed  at  "Communist  seditious  activities.'"  *^  The  basis  for  Smith 
Act  prosecutions  of  "subversive  activity"'  was  narrowed  in  1957,  how- 
ever, when  the  Court  overturned  the  convictions  of  second-string 
Communist  leaders,  holding  that  the  government  must  show  advocacy 
"of  action  and  not  merely  abstract  doctrine."  ^^  In  1961,  the  Court 
sustained  the  constitutionality  under  the  First  Amendment  of  the  re- 
quirement that  the  Communist  Party  register  with  the  Subversive 
Acivities  Control  Board.®*' 

The  consensus  should  not  be  portrayed  as  monolithic.  President 
Truman  was  concerned  about  risks  to  constitutional  government  posed 

world  conditions,  and  the  touch-and-go  nature  of  our  relations  witli  countries 
with  whom  petitioners  were  in  the  very  least  ideologically  attuned,  convince  us 
that  their  convictions  were  justified  on  this  score."  [Dennis  v.  United  States,  341 
U.S.  494  r)10-.lll  (1951).] 

^^64  Stat.  987  (1950)  The  Subversive  Activities  Control  Act's  registration  pro- 
vision was  held  not  to  violate  the  First  Amendment  in  1961.  [Communist  Party  v. 
Suhi'e7-sive  Activities  Control  Board,  .367  U.S.  1  (1961).]  However,  registration 
of  Communists  under  the  Act  was  later  held  to  violate  the  Fifth  Amendment 
privilege  against  .self-incrimination.  [Albertson  v.  Subversive  Activities  Control 
Board,  382  U.S.  70  (1965).]  The  Emergency  Detention  Act  was  repealed  in  1971. 

^  68  Stat.  775  (1954),  .50  U.S.C.  841-844.  The  constitutionality  of  the  Communist 
Control  Act  of  1954  has  never  been  tested. 

**  In  light  of  the  facts  now  known,  the  Supreme  Court  seems  to  have  overstated 
the  degree  to  which  Congress  had  explicitly  "charged"  the  FBI  with  intelligence 
responsibilities : 

"Congress  has  devised  an  all-embracing  program  for  resistance  to  the  various 
forms  of  totalitarian  aggression.  ...  It  has  charged  the  Federal  Bureau  of 
Investigation  and  the  Central  Intelligence  Agency  with  responsibility  for  intelli- 
gence concerning  Communist  seditious  activities  against  our  Government,  and 
has  denominated  such  activities  as  part  of  a  world  conspiracy."  [Pennsylvania  v. 
Nrlsou,  3.50  U.S.  497.  504-505  (19.56).] 

This  decision  held  that  the  federal  government  had  preempted  state  sedition 
laws,  citing  President  Roosevelt's  September  1939  statement  on  FBI  authority 
and  an  address  by  FBI  Director  Hoover  to  state  law  enforcement  officials  in 
August  1940. 

"^  Yates  V.  United  States,  354  U.S.  298,  325  (1957). 

®\Tustice  Douglas,  who  dissented  on  Fifth  Amendment  grounds,  agreed  with 
the  majority  on  the  First  Amendment  issue  : 

"The  Bill  of  Rights  was  designed  to  give  play  to  the  exchange  and  dis- 
semination of  ideas  that  touch  the  politics,  culture,  and  other  aspects  of  our  life. 
When  an  organization  is  used  by  a  foreign  power  to  make  advances  here,  qiies- 
tions  of  security  are  raised  beyond  the  ken  of  disputation  and  debate  between 
the  people  resident  here."  [Communist  Party  v.  Subversive  Activities  Control 
Board,  367  U.S.  1,  174  (1961).] 


by  the  zealous  anti-Communism  in  Congress.  According  to  one  White 
House  staff  member's  notes  during  the  debate  over  the  Internal 
Security  Act : 

The  President  said  that  the  situation  .  .  .  was  the  worst 
it  had  been  since  the  Alien  and  Sedition  Laws  of  1798,  that 
a  lot  of  people  on  the  Hill  should  know  better  but  had  been 
stampeded  into  running  with  their  tails  between  their  legs. 

Truman  announced  that  he  would  veto  the  Internal  Security  Act 
"regardless  of  how  politically  un])opular  it  was — election  year  or 
no  election  year."  ®^  But  President  Truman's  veto  was  overridden  by 
an  overwhelming  margin. 

h.  The  Federal  Einjjloyee  Loyalty-Security  Program 
(1)  Orlghis  of  the  Program. — President  Truman  established  a 
federal  employee  loyalty  program  in  1947.*^  Its  basic  features  were 
retained  in  the  federal  employee  security  program  authorized  by 
President  Eisenhower  in  public  Executi^•e  Order  10450,  which,  with 
some  modifications,  still  applies  toclay.^^ 

Although  it  had  a  much  broader  reach,  the  program  originated  out 
of  well-founded  concern  that  Soviet  intelligence  was  then  using  the 
Communist  Party  as  a  vehicle  for  the  recruitment  of  espionage 
agents.^"  President  Truman  appointed  a  Temporary  Commision  on 
Employee  Loyalty  in  1946  to  examine  the  problem,  FBI  Director 
Hoover  submitted  a  memorandum  on  the  types  of  activities  of  "sub- 
versive or  disloyal  persons''  in  government  service  which  would  con- 
stitute a  "threat"  to  security.  As  Hoover  saw  it,  however,  the  danger 
was  not  limited  to  espionage  or  recruitment  for  espionage.  It  extended 
to  "influencing"  government  policies  in  favor  of  "the  foreign  country 
of  their  ideological  choice.''  Consequently,  he  urged  that  attention 
be  given  to  the  associations  of  government  employees  with  "front" 
organizations,  including  "temporary  organizations,  'spontaneous' 
campaigns,  and  pressure  movements  so  frequently  used  by  subversive 
groups."  ^^ 

The  President's  Commission  accepted  Director  Hoover's  broad  view 
of  the  threat,  along  with  the  view  endorsed  by  a  Presidential  Com- 
mission on  Civil  Rights  that  there  also  was  a  danger  from  "those  who 
would  subvert  our  democracy  by  .  . .  destroying  the  civil  rights  of  some 
groups.'"  ^^  Consequently,  the  Executive  Order  included,  as  an  inclica- 

"  File  memorandum  of  S.  J.  Spingarn,  assistant  counsel  to  the  President, 
7/22/50.  (Spingarn  Papers,  Harry  S.  Truman  Library.) 

**  Executive  Order  9835, 12  Fed.  Reg.  1935  (1947) . 

''Executive  Order  10450, 18  Fed.  Reg.  2489  (1953). 

""  A  report  by  a  Canadian  Royal  Commission  in  June  1946  greatly  influenced 
United  States  government  policy.  The  Royal  Commission  stated  that  "a  number 
of  young  Canadians,  public  servants  and  others,  who  begin  with  a  desire  to 
advance  causes  which  they  consider  worthy,  have  been  induced  into  joining 
study  groups  of  the  Communist  Party.  They  are  persuaded  to  keep  this  adherence 
secret.  They  have  been  led  step  by  step  along  the  ingeneous  psychological  develop- 
ment course  .  .  .  until  under  the  influence  of  sophisticated  and  unscrupulous 
leaders  they  have  been  persuaded  to  engage  in  illegal  activities  directed  against 
the  safety  and  interests  of  their  own  society."  The  Royal  Commission  recom- 
mended additional  security  measures  "to  prevent  the  infiltration  into  positions 
of  trust  under  the  Government  of  persons  likely  to  commit"  such  acts  of  espionage. 
(The  Report  of  the  Royal  Commission,  6/27/46,  pp.  82-83.  686-689.) 

^  Memorandum  from  the  FBI  Director  to  the  President's  Temporary  Commis- 
sion on  Employee  Loyalty,  1/3/47. 

"'President's  Committee  on  Civil  Rights,  To  Secure  These  Rights  (1947), 
p.  52. 


tioii  of  disloyalty,  membership  in  or  association  with  groups  desig- 
nated on  an  ''Attorney  General's  list"  as : 

totalitarian,  fascist,  connnunist,  or  subversive,  or  as  having 
adopted  a  policy  of  advocating  or  approving  the  commission 
of  acts  of  force  or  violence  to  deny  others  their  rights  under 
the  Constitution  of  the  United  States,  or  as  seeking  to  alter 
the  form  of  government  of  the  United  States  by  unconstitu- 
tional means.^^ 

The  Executive  Order  was  used  to  provide  a  legal  basis  for  the  FBI's 
investigation  of  allegedly  "subversive"  organizations  which  might  fall 
within  these  categories.'-**  Such  investigations  supplied  a  body  of  in- 
telligence data  against  which  to  check  the  names  of  prospective  fed- 
eral employees.°^ 

(2)  Breadth  of  the  Investigations. — By  the  mid-1950s,  the  Bureau 
believed  that  the  Connnunist  Party  was  no  longer  used  for  Soviet 
espionage ;  it  represented  only  a  "potential"  recruiting  ground  for 
spies.^**  Thereafter,  FBI  investigations  of  Communist  organizations 
and  other  groups  unconnected  to  espionage  but  falling  within  the 
standards  of  the  Attorney  General's  list  frequently  became  a  means 
for  monitoring  the  political  background  of  prospective  federal  em- 
ployees by  means  of  the  "name  check"  of  Bureau  files.  These  investi- 
gations also  served  the  "pure  intelligence"  function  of  informing  the 
Attorney  General  of  the  influence  and  organizational  affiliations  of  so- 
called  "subversives."  ^^ 

No  organizations  were  formally  added  to  the  Attorney  General's 
list  after  1955.^^  However,  the  FBI's  "name  check"  reports  on  prospec- 
tive employees  were  never  limited  to  information  about  listed  orga- 
nizations. The  broad  standards  for  placing  a  group  on  the  Attorney 
General's  list  were  used  to  evaluate  an  employee's  background,  regard- 
less of  whether  or  not  he  was  a  member  of  a  group  on  the  list.^**  If  a 
"name  check''  uncovered  information  about  a  prospective  employee's 
association  with  a  group  which  might  come  within  those  standards,  the 

^'  Executive  Order  9835,  part  I,  section  2 ;  cf.  Executive  Order  10450,  section 

**  In  1960,  for  instance,  the  Justice  Department  advised  the  FBI  to  continue 
investigating  an  organization  not  on  the  Attorney  General's  list  in  order  to  secure 
"additional  information  .  .  .  relative  to  the  criteria"  of  the  employee  security 
order.  (Memorandum  from  Assistant  Attorney  General  J.  Walter  Yeagley  to 
J.  Edgar  Hoover,  5/17/60. ) 

82  FBI  "name  checks"  are  authorized  as  one  of  the  "national  agencies  checks" 
required  by  Executive  Order  10450,  section  3(a). 

^  FBI  Monograph,  "The  Menace  of  Communism  in  the  United  State.s  Today", 
7/29/55,  pp.  iv-v.  See  footnote  271. 

°'  The  FBI  official  in  charge  of  the  Internal  Security  Section  of  the  Intelli- 
gency  Division  in  the  fifties  and  early  sixties  testified  that  the  primary  purpose 
of  FBI  investigations  of  communist  "infiltration"  was  to  advise  the  Attorney 
General  so  that  he  could  determine  whether  a  group  should  go  on  the  Attorney 
General's  list.  He  also  testified  that  investigations  for  this  purpose  continue<l 
after  the  Attorney  General  ceased  adding  names  of  groups  to  the  list.  (F.  J. 
Baumgardner  testimony,  10/8/75,  pp.  48-49. )  See  pp.  48-49  for  discussion  of  the 
FBI's  COMIXFIL  program. 

**  ^lemoranda  from  the  Attorney  General  to  heads  of  Departments  and  Agencies, 
4/29/53;  7/1.5/53;  9/28/53;  1/22/54.  Groups  designated  prior  to  that  time 
included  numerous  defunct  German  and  Japanese  societies.  Communist  and  Com- 
munist "front"  organizations,  the  Socialist  Workers  Party,  the  Nationalist  Party 
of  Puerto  Rico,  and  several  Ku  Klux  Klan  organizations. 

"^  Executive  Order  10450,  section  8(a)(5). 


FBI  would  report  the  data  and  attach  a  "characterization"  of  the  orga- 
nization relating  to  the  standards.^"" 

(3)  FBI  Control  of  Loyalty -Security  Investigations. — President 
Eisenhower's  1953  order  specifically  designated  the  FBI  as  responsible 
for  "a  full  field  investigation''  whenever  a  "name  check"  or  a  back- 
ground investigation  by  the  Civil  Service  Commission  or  any  other 
agency  uncovered  information  indicating  a  potential  security  risk.^"^ 
President  Truman  had  refused  to  give  the  Bureau  this  exclusive  power 
initially,  but  he  fought  a  losing  battle."^ 

Director  Hoover  had  objected  that  President  Truman's  order  did  not 
give  the  FBI  excusive  power  and  threatened  "to  withdraw  from  this 
field  of  investigation  rather  than  to  engage  in  a  tug  of  Avar  with  the 
Civil  Service  Commission."  ^°^  President  Truman  was  apprehensive 
about  the  FBI's  growing  power.  The  notes  of  one  presidential  aide  on  a 
meeting  with  the  President  reflect  that  Truman  felt  "very  strongly 
anti-FBI"  on  the  issue  and  wanted  "to  be  sure  and  hold  FBI  down, 
afraid  of  'Gestapo.'  "  "^ 

Presidential  assistant  Clark  Clifford  reviewed  the  situation  and 
came  down  on  the  side  of  the  FBI  as  "better  qualified"  than  the  Civil 
Service  Commission. ^°^  But  the  President  insisted  on  a  compromise 
which  gave  Civil  Service  "discretion"  to  call  on  the  FBI  "if  it 
wishes."  ^"^  Director  Hoover  protested  this  "confusion"  about  the  FBI's 
jurisdiction. ^°^  When  Justice  Departm.ent  officials  warned  that  Con- 
gress would  "find  flaws"  with  the  compromise.  President  Truman 
noted  on  a  memorandum  from  Clifford : 

J.  Edgar  will  in  all  probability  get  this  backward  looking 
Congress  to  give  him  what  he  wants.  It's  dangerous.^°^ 

President's  Truman's  prediction  was  correct.  His  budget  request  of 
$16  million  for  Civil  Service  and  $8.7  million  for  the  FBI  to  conduct 
loyalty  investigations  was  revised  by  Congress  to  allocate  $7.4  million 
to  the  FBI  and  only  $3  million  to  Civil  Service.^°^  The  issue  was  finally 
resolved  to  the  FBI's  satisfaction  when  the  President  issued  a  state- 
ment declaring  that  there  iwere  "to  be  no  exceptions"  to  the  rule  that 
the  FBI  would  make  all  loyalty  investigations."" 

100  rpj^g  FBI's  field  offices  were  supplied  with  such  "thumb-nail  sketches"  or 
characterizations  to  supplement  the  Attorney  General's  list  and  the  reports  of  the 
House  Committee  on  Un-American  Activities.  {E.g.,  SAC  Letter  No.  60-34, 
7/12/60. ) 

"'  Executive  Order  104.50,  section  8(d). 

^°^  The  reference  to  a  "full  field  investigation"  where  there  was  "derogatory 
information  with  respect  to  loyalty"  did  not,  in  the  Truman  order,  say  who  would 
conduct  the  investigation.  (Executive  Order  9835,  part  I,  section  4.) 

"'^  Memoranda  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Tom  Clark,  3/19/47 
and  3/31/47. 

^*^  File  memorandum  of  George  M.  Elsey,  5/2/47.  (Harry  S.  Truman  Library.) 

^"^  Memorandum  from  C'ark  Clifford  to  the  President.  5/7/47. 

^•^  Memorandum  from  Clark  Clifford  to  the  President,  5/9/47 ;  letter  from 
President  Truman  to  H.  B.  Mitchell,  U.S.  Civil  Service  Commission,  5/9/47. 
(Harry  S.  Truman  Library.) 

'^^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Clark,  5/12/47. 

"'Memorandum  from  Clark  Clifford  to  the  President,  5/9/47.  (Harry  S. 
Truman    Library.) 

^"'Eleanor  Bontecou,  The  Federal  Loyalty-Security  Program  (Ithaca  :  Cornell 
University  Press,  1953),  pp.  33-34. 

"°  Memorandum  from  J.  R.  Steelman,  Assistant  to  the  President,  to  the  Attor- 
ney General,  11/3/47. 


c.  Executive  Directives :  Lack  of  Guidance  and  Controls 

Two  public  presidential  statements  on  FBI  domestic  intelligence  au- 
thority— by  President  Truman  in  1950  and  by  President  Eisenhower 
in  1953 — specifically  declared  that  the  FBI  was  authorized  to  investi- 
gate "subversive  activity,"  electing  the  broader  interpretation  of  the 
conflicting  Roosevelt  directives.  INIoreover,  a  confidential  directive  of 
the  National  Security  Council  in  1949  granted  authority  to  the  FBI 
and  military  intelligence  for  investigation  of  "subvei*sive  activities." 
In  1962  President  Kennedy  issued  a  confidential  order  shifting  super- 
vision of  these  investigations  from  the  NSC  to  the  Attorney  General, 
and  the  NSC's  1949  authorizations  were  reissued  by  Attorney  General 
Kemiedy  in  1964. 

As  with  the  earlier  Roosevelt  directives,  these  statements,  orders 
and  authorizations  failed  to  provide  guidance  on  conducting  or  con- 
trolling "subvereive"  investigations. 

Under  President  Truman,  the  Interdepartmental  Intelligence  Con- 
ference (IIC)  ^^^  was  formally  authorized  in  1949  to  supervise 
coordination  between  the  FBI  and  the  military  of  "all  investigation  of 
domestic  espionage,  counterespionage,  sabotage,  subversion^  and  other 
related  intelligence  matters  affecting  internal  security."  ^^^  [Emphasis 

The  confidential  Delimitations  Agreement  between  the  FBI  and 

the  military  intelligence  agencies  was  also  revised  in  1949  to  require 

greater  exchange  of  "information  of  mutual  interest"  and  to  require 

the  FBI  to  advise  military  intelligence  of  developments  concerning 

"subversive"  groups  who  were  "potential"  dangers  to  the  security  of 
the  United  States.^13 

In  1950,  after  the  outbreak  of  the  Korean  war  and  in  the  midst 
of  Congressional  consideration  of  new  internal  security  legislation, 
Director  Hoover  recommended  that  Attorney  General  J.  Howard 
McGrath  "^  and  the  NSC  draft  a  statement  which  President  Truman 
issued  in  July  1950  providing  that  the  FBI : 

should  take  charge  of  investigative  work  in  matters  relating 
to  espionage,  sabotage,  subversive  activities  and  related 
matters .'^'^'^  [Emphasis  added.] 

"^  In  a  March  1949  directive  on  coordination  of  internal  security  President 
Truman  approved  tlie  creation  of  the  Interdepartmental  Intelligence  Conference 
("IIC").  Memorandum  by  J.  P.  Coyne,  Major  Chronological  Developments  on  the 
Subject  of  Internal  Security,  4/8/49  (Harry  S.  Truman  Library),  and  NSC 
Memorandum  17/4,  3/23/49. 

"-  NSC  Memorandum  17/5,  6/15/49.  The  National  Security  Council  was  estab- 
lished by  the  National  Security  Act  of  1947,  which  authorized  the  NSC  to  advise 
the  President  \\ith  respect  to  "the  integration  of  domestic,  foreign,  and  military 
policies"  relating  to  the  "national  security."  (Section  101  of  the  National  Se- 
curity Act  of  1947.)  Under  this  authority,  the  NSC  then  approved  a  secret  charter 
for  the  ICC,  composed  of  the  FBI  Director  (as  chairman)  and  the  heads  of  the 
three  military  intelligence  agencies. 

"^Delimitation  of  Investigative  Duties  and  Agreement  for  Coordination, 
2/23/49.  A  supplementary  agreement  required  FBI  and  military  intelligence 
officials  in  the  field  to  "maintain  close  personal  liaison,"  particularly  to  avoid 
"duplication  in  .  .  .  the  use  of  informers."  Where  there  was  "doubt"  as  to  whether 
another  agency  was  interested  in  information,  it  "should  be  transmitted." 
(Supplemental  Agreement  No.  1  to  the  Delimitation  Agreement,  6/2/49.) 

'"  Letter  from  Attorney  General  :\IcGrath  to  Charles  S.  Murphy,  Counsel  to 
the  President,  7/11/50. 

""'  Statement  of  President  Truman,  7/24/50. 


Despite  concern  among  his  assistants/^^^  President  Truman's 
statement  clearly  placed  him  on  the  record  as  endorsing  FBI  investi- 
gations of  "subversive  activities."  The  statement  said  that  such  in- 
vestigations had  been  authorized  initially  by  President  Roosevelt's 
"directives"  of  September  1939  and  January  1943.  However,  those 
particular  directives  had  not  used  this  precise  language."® 

Shortly  after  President  Eisenhower  took  office  in  1953,  the  FBI 
advised  the  "Wliite  House  that  its  "internal  security  responsibility" 
went  beyond  "statutory"  authority.  The  Bureau  attached  a  copy  of  the 
Truman  statement,  but  not  the  Roosevelt  directive.  The  FBI  again 
broadly  interpreted  the  Roosevelt  directive  by  saying  that  it  had  au- 
thorized "investigative  work"  related  to  "subversive  activities."  "' 

In  December  1953  President  Eisenhower  issued  a  statement  reiterat- 
ing President  Truman's  "directive"  and  extending  the  FBI's  mandate 
to  investigations  under  the  Atomic  Energy  Act.^^^ 

President  Kennedy  issued  no  public  statement  comparable  to  the 
Roosevelt,  Truman,  and  Eisenhower  "directives."  However,  in  1962 
he  did  transfer  the  Interdepartmental  Intelligence  Conference  to  "the 
supervision  of  the  Attorney  General ;"  "^  and  in  1964  Attorney  General 
Robert  Kennedy  re-issued  the  IIC  charter,  citing  as  authority  the 
President's  1962  order  and  retaining  the  term  "subversion."  The  char- 
ter added  that  it  did  not  "modify''  or  "affect"  the  previous  "Presi- 
dential Directives"  relating  to  the  duties  of  the  FBI,  and  that  the 
Delimitations  Agreement  between  the  FBI  and  military  intelligence 
"shall  remain  in  full  force  and  effect."  ^^° 

None  of  the  directives,  orders,  or  charters  ])rovided  any  definition 
of  the  broad  and  loose  terms  "subversion"  or  "subversive  activities;" 
and  none  of  the  administrations  provided  effective  controls  over  the 
FBI's  investigations  in  this  area. 

3.  Scope  of  Domestic  Intelligence 
a.  '■''Subversive  Activities'''' 
The  breadth  of  the  FBI's  investigations  of  "subversive  activity"  led 
to  massive  collection  of  information  on  law^  abiding  citizens.  FBI 
domestic  intelligence  investigations  extended  beyond  Ivnown  or  sus- 
pected Communist  Party  members.  They  included  other  individuals 
who  regarded  the  Soviet  Union  as  the  "champion  of  a  superior  way  of 
life"  and  "persons  holding  important  positions  who  have  shown  sym- 
pathy for  Communist  objectives  and  policies."  Members  of  "non-Stal- 

"^^  One  noted.  "This  is  the  most  Inscrutable  Presidential  statement  I've  seen 

in  a  longr  time."  Another  asljed,   "How  in  H did  this  get  out?"   A  third 

replied,  "Don't  know — I  thought  you  were  handling."  Notes  initialed  D.  Bell. 
SJS  (S.  J.  Spingarn),  and  GWE  (George  W.  Elsey),  7/24-25/50  (Elsey  Papers, 
Harry  S.  Truman  Library).  Even  before  the  statement  was  issued,  one  of  these 
aides  had  warned  the  President's  counsel  that  the  Justice  Department  was 
attempting  "an  end  run."  [^Memorandum  from  G.  W.  Elsey  to  Charles  S.  Murphy, 
Counsel  to  the  President,  7/12/50.  (Murphv  Papers,  Harry  S.  Truman  Library.)] 

™  See  footnotes  19  and  22. 

"^  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Sherman  Adams,  Assistant  to  the  President, 
1/28/53,  and  attached  memorandum  on  "FBI  Liaison  Activities,"  1/26/53. 

"^  Statement  of  President  Eisenhower,  12/15/53. 

"'  National  Security  Action  Memorandum  161,  Subject :  U.S.  Internal  Security 
Programs,  6/9/62. 

^**  Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Kennedy  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  Chair- 
man, Interdepartmental  Intelligence  Conference,  3/5/64. 


inist"  revolutionary  socialist  groups  Avere  investigated  because,  even 
though  they  opposed  the  Soviet  regime,  the  FBI  viewed  them  as  re- 
garding the  Soviet  Union  "as  the  center  for  world  revolution."  ^^^ 
Moreover,  the  FBI's  concept  of  "subversive  infiltration"  was  so  broad 
that  it  permitted  the  investigation  for  decades  of  peaceful  protest 
groups  such  as  the  NAACP. 

(1)  The  Number  of  Inv  est  i  gat  ions. — By  1960  the  FBI  had  opened 
approximately  432,000  files  at  headquarters  on  individuals  and  groups 
in  the  "subversive"  intelligence  field.  Between  1960  and  1963  an  addi- 
tional 9,000  such  files  were  opened.^"-  An  even  larger  number  of  in- 
vestigative files  were  maintained  at  FBI  field  offices.^^^  Under  the 
Bureau's  filing  system,  a  single  file  on  a  group  could  include  references 
to  hundreds  or  thousands  of  group  members  or  other  persons  associated 
with  the  group  in  any  way ;  and  such  names  were  indexed  so  that  the 
information  Avas  readily  retrievable. 

(2)  Vague  and  Sioeeping  Standards. — The  FBI  conducted  continu- 
ing investigations  of  persons  whose  membership  in  the  Communist 
Party  or  in  "a  revolutionary  group"  had  "not  been  proven,"  but  who 
had  "anarchistic  or  revolutionary  beliefs"  and  had  "committed  past 
acts  of  violence  during  strikes,  riots,  or  demonstrations."  Persons 
not  currently  engaged  in  "activity  of  a  subversive  nature"  were  still 
investigated  if  they  had  engaged  in  such  activity  "several  years  ago" 
and  there  was  no  "positive  indication  of  disaffection."  ^^^ 

The  FBI  Manual  stated  that  it  was  "not  possible  to  formulate  any 
hard-and-fast  standards"  for  measuring  "the  dangerousness  of  in- 
dividual members  or  affiliates  of  revolutionary  organizations."  Per- 
sons could  be  investigated  if  they  were  "espousing  the  line"  of  "rev- 
olutionary movements".  Anonymous  allegations  could  start  an  in- 
vestigation if  they  were  "sufficiently  specific  and  of  sufficient  weight." 
The  Manual  added. 

Where  there  is  doubt  an  individual  may  be  a  current  threat 
to  the  internal  security  of  the  nation,  the  question  should 
be  resolved  in  the  interest  of  security  and  investigation 

The  FBI  Manual  did  not  define  "subversive"  groups  in  terms  of 
their  links  to  a  foreign  government.  Instead,  they  were  "Marxist 
revolutionary-type"  organizations  "seeking  the  overthrow  of  the  U.S. 
Government."  ^^*^  One  purpose  of  investigation  was  possible  prosecu- 

"*  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Clark,  3/5/46. 

^^  Memorandum  from  the  FBI  to  the  Senate  Select  Committee,  10/28/75.  An 
indication  of  the  breadth  of  the  investigations  is  illustrated  by  the  fact  that 
the  number  of  files  far  exceeded  the  Bureau's  estimate  of  the  "all  time  high"  in 
Communist  Party  membership  which  was  80.000  in  1944  and  steadily  declined 
thereafter.  (William  C.  Sullivan  testimony,  11/1/75,  pp.  33-34.) 

^^  Report  to  the  House  Committee  on  the  Judiciary  bv  the  Comptroller  General 
of  the  United  States,  2/24/76,  pp.  118-119. 

"*  Such  investigations  were  conducted  because  the  Communist  Party  liad  issued 
instructions  that  "sleepers"  should  leave  the  Party  and  go  "underground,"  still 
maintaining  secret  linl^s  to  the  Partv.  (Memorandum  from  J.  F.  Bland  to  A.  H. 
Belmont,  7/30/58. ) 

"Refu.«al  to  cooperate"  with  an  FBI  agent's  interview  was  "taken  into  con- 
sideration along  with  other  facts"  in  determining  whether  to  continue  the  in- 
vestigation. (Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Deputy  Attorney  General 
Peyton  P^ord,  6/28/51.) 

^^  1960  FBI  Manual  Section  87,  p.  5. 

^  1960  FBI  Manual  Section  87,  p.  5. 


tion  under  the  Smitli  Act.  But  no  prosecutions  were  initiated  under 
tlie  Act  after  1957.^-'  The  Justice  Department  advised  the  FlU  in 
1956  that  such  a  prosecution  required  "an  actual  plan  for  a  violent 
revolution."  ^-^  The  Department's  position  in  1960  was  that  "incite- 
ment to  action  in  the  foreseeable  future'-  was  needed. ^-^  Despite  the 
strict  requirements  for  prosecution,  the  FBI  continued  to  investigate 
"subversive"  organizations  "from  an  intelligence  viewpoint"  to  ap- 
praise their  "strength"'  and  "dangerousness."  ^^° 

(3)  COMINFIL.— The  FBI's  broadest  program  for  collecting  intel- 
ligence was  carried  out  under  the  heading  COMINFIL,  or  Communist 
infiltration."^  The  FBI  collected  intelligence  about  Comnnmist  "in- 
fluence" under  the  following  categories : 

Political  activities 

Legislative  activities 

Domestic  administration  issues 

Negro  question 

Youth  matters 

Women's  matters 

Farmers'  JNIatters 

Cultural  activities 

Veterans'  matters 



Industry  ^^^ 

FBI  investigations  covered  "the  entire  spectrum  of  the  social  and 
labor  movement  in  the  country."  ^^^  The  purpose — as  publicly  disclosed 
in  the  Attorney  General's  Annual  Reports — was  pure  intelligence: 
to  "fortify"  the  Government  against  "subversive  pressures,''  "^  or  to 
"strengthen"  the  Government  against  "subA^ersive  campaigns."  "^ 

In  other  words,  the  COISIINFIL  program  supplied  the  Attorney 
General  and  the  President  with  intelligence  about  a  wide  range  of 
groups  seeking  to  influence  national  policy  under  the  rationale  of  de- 
termining whether  Communists  were  involved."^  The  FBI  said  it  was 
not  concerned  with  the  "legitimate  activities"  of  "nonsubversive 
groups,"  but  only  with  whether  Communists  were  "gaining  a  dominant 

*^  The  Supreme  Court's  last  decision  upholding  a  Smith  Act  conviction  was 
Scales  V.  United  States,  367  U.S.  203  (1961),  which  reiterated  that  there  must 
he  "advocacy  of  action."  See  Yates  v.  United  States,  354  U.S.  298  (1957). 

^^  Memorandum  from  Assistant  Attornev  General  Tompkins  to  Director,  FBI, 

^^  Memorandum  from  Assistant  Attornev  General  Yeagley  to  Director,  FBI, 

"» 1960  FBI  Manual-Section  87,  p.  5. 

"'  1960  FBI  Manual  Section  87,  pp.  83-84. 

'"- 1960  FBI  Manual  Section  87,  pp.  5-11. 

^■"  Annual  Report  of  the  Attorney  General  for  Fiscal  Year  1955,  p.  195. 

'^  Annual  Report  for  1958,  p.  338. 

'^  Annual  Report  for  1964,  p.  375. 

^^  (Examples  of  such  reports  to  the  White  House  are  set  forth  later,  pp.  51- 
53.)  The  Chief  of  the  Internal  Security  Section  of  the  FBI  Intelligence  Divi- 
sion in  1948-1966  testified  that  the  Bureau  "had  to  he  certain"  tliat  a  group's 
position  did  not  coincide  with  the  Communist  line  "just  hy  accident."  The  FBI 
would  not  "open  a  case"  until  it  had  "specific  infoi-mation"  that  "the  Communists 
were  there"  and  were  "influencing"  the  group  to  "assist  the  Communist  move- 
ment."  (F.  .1.  Baumgardner  testimony,  10/8/75  p.  47.) 


role."  ^^'^  Nevertheless,  COMINFIL  reports  inevitably  described 
"leg-itiinate  activities"  totally  unrelated  to  the  alleged  "subversive  ac- 
tivity." This  is  vividly  demonstrated  by  the  COMINFIL  reports  on 
American's  leading  civil  rights  group  in  this  period,  the  NAACP.^^* 
The  investigation  continued  for  at  least  twenty-five  years  in  cities 
throughout  the  nation,  although  no  evidence  was  ever  found  to  rebut 
the  observation  that  the  NAACP  had  a  ''strong  tendency"  to  "steer 
clear  of  Connnunist  activities."  "^ 

(4)  Exaggeration  of  Comnuinist  Infuence. — The  FBI  and  the  Jus- 
tice Department  justified  the  continuation  of  COiNlINFIL  investiga- 
tions, despite  the  Communist  Party's  steady  decline  in  the  fifties  and 
early  sixities,  on  the  theory  that  the  Party  was  "seeking  to  repair  its 
losses"  with  the  "hope"  of  being  able  to  "move  in"  on  movements  with 
"laudable  objectives."  "° 

The  FBI  reported  to  the  White  House  in  1961  that  the  Communist 
Party  had  "attempted"  to  take  advantage  of  "racial  disturbances"  in 
the  South  and  had  "endeavored"  to  bring  "pressure  to  bear"  on  gov- 
ernment officials  "through  the  press,  labor  unions,  and  student  groups." 
At  that  time  the  FBI  was  investigating  "two  hundred  known  or  sus- 
pected communist  front  and  communist-infiltrated  organizations."  ^^^ 
By  not  stating  how  effective  the  "attempts"  and  "endeavors"  of  the 
Communists  were,  and  by  not  indicating  whether  they  were  becoming 
more  or  less  successful,  the  FBI  offered  a  deficient  rationale  for  its 
sweeping  intelligence  collection  policy. 

William  C.  Sullivan,  a  former  head  of  the  FBI  Intelligence  Division, 
has  testified  that  such  language  was  deliberately  used  to  exaggerate 
the  threat  of  Communist  influence.  "Attempts"  and  "influence"  were 
"very  significant  words"  in  FBI  reports,  he  said.  These  terms  obscured 
what  he  felt  to  be  the  more  significant  criterion — the  degree  of  Com- 
munist success.  The  Bureau  "did  not  discuss  this  because  we  would 
have  to  say  that  they  did  not  hit  the  target,  hardly  any."  ^^- 

A  distorted  picture  of  Communist  "infiltration"  later  served  to  just- 
ify the  FBI's  intensive  investigations  of  the  groups  involved  in  protests 
against  the  Vietnam  War  and  the  civil  rights  movement,  including  Dr. 
Martin  Luther  King,  Jr.,  and  the  Southern  Christian  Leadership  Con- 

^"  Annual  Report  for  1955,  p.  195. 

138  YoY  more  detailed  discussion  of  the  FBI  investigations  of  the  NAACP  and 
other  civil  rights  groups  see  the  Report  on  the  Development  of  FBI  Domestic 
Intelligence  Investigations. 

*=*  Report  of  Oklahoma  City  Field  Office,  9/19/41.  This  report  continued: 
"Nevertheless,  there  is  a  strong  movement  on  the  part  of  the  Communists  to  at- 
tempt to  dominate  this  group  .  .  .  Consequently,  the  activities  of  the  NAACP  will 
be  closely  observed  and  scrutinized  in  the  future."  [Emphasis  added.]  This  stress 
on  Communist  "attempts"  rather  than  their  actual  achievements  is  typical  of 
COMINFIL  reports.  The  annual  reiwrts  on  the  FBI's  COMINFIL  investigation 
of  the  NAACP  indicate  that  the  Communists  consistently  failed  in  these  "at- 
tempts" at  the  national  level,  although  the  Bureau  took  credit  for  using  covert 
tactics  to  prevent  a  Communist  takeover  of  a  major  NAACP  chapter.  (Letter 
from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General-elect  Robert  F.  Kennedy.  1/10/61 
attached  memorandum,  subject:  Communist  Party.  T'SA-FBI  Counterattack.) 

""Annual  Report  of  the  Attorney  General  for  Fiscal  Year  1959,  pp.  247-24S. 

""^  Memorandum  from  .T.  Edgar  Hoover,  Chairman.  Interdepartmental  Intel- 
ligence Conference,  to  McGeorge  Bundy,  Special  Assistant  to  the  President  for 
National  Security,  7/25/61,  enclosing  IIC  Report,  Status  of  U.S.  Internal  Security 

''=  William  C.  Sullivan  testimony,  11/1/75,  pp.  40-41. 

68-786  O  -  76  -  5 


h.  '■'■Racial  Matters''''  and  '■'■Hate  Groups''' 

In  the  1950s,  tlie  FBI  also  developed  intelligence  programs  to  inves- 
tigate "Eacial  Matters"  and  "hate  organizations''  unrelated  to  "revolu- 
tionary-type" subversives.  "Hate  organizations"  were  investigated  if 
they  had  "allegedly  adopted  a  policy  of  advocating,  condoning,  or  in- 
citing the  use  of  force  or  violence  to  deny  others  their  rights  under  the 
Constitution."  Like  the  COINIINFIL  program,  however,  the  Bureau 
used  its  "established  sources"  to  monitor  the  activities  of  "hate  groups" 
Avhich  did  not  "qualify"  under  the  "advocacy  of  violence"  standard. ^"^^ 

In  1963,  FBI  field  offices  were  instructed  to  report  "the  formation 
and  identities"  of  "rightist  or  extremist  groups"  in  the  "anticommunist 
field."  Headquarters  approval  was  needed  for  investigating  "groups 
in  this  field  whose  activities  are  not  in  violation  of  any  statutes."  ^^^ 

Under  these  programs,  the  FBI  collected  and  disseminated  intelli- 
gence about  the  John  Birch  Society  and  its  founder,  Kobert  Welch, 
in  1959.^*^  The  activities  of  another  right-wing  spokesman,  Gerald 
L.  K.  Smith,  who  headed  the  Christian  Nationalist  Crusade,  were 
the  subject  of  FBI  reports  even  after  the  Justice  Department  had 
concluded  that  the  group  had  not  violated  federal  law  and  that  there 
was  no  basis  for  including  the  group  on  the  "Attorney  General's 
list."  "« 

The  FBI  program  for  collecting  intelligence  on  "General  Racial 
Matters"  was  even  broader.  It  went  beyond  "race  riots"  to  include 
"civil  demonstrations"  and  "similar  developments."  These  "develop- 
ments" included : 

proposed  or  actual  activities  of  individuals,  officials,  commit- 
tees, legislatures,  organizations,  etc.,  in  the  racial  field.^*^ 

The  FBI's  "intelligence  function"  w^as  to  advise  "appropriate"  fed- 
eral and  local  officials  of  "pertinent  information"  about  "racial  inci- 
dents." ^*« 

A  briefing  of  the  Cabinet  by  Director  Hoover  in  1956  illustrates 
the  breadth  of  collection  and  dissemination  under  the  racial  matters 
program.  The  briefing  covered  not  only  incidents  of  violence  and  the 
"efforts"  and  "plans"  of  Communists  to  "influence"  the  civil  rights 
movement,  but  also  the  legislative  strategy  of  the  NAACP  and  the 
activities  of  Southern  Governors  and  Congressmen  on  behalf  of  groups 
opposing  integration  peacefully."^ 

"'  I960  FBI  Manual  Section  122,  p.  1. 

^^  SAC  Letter  No.  63-27,  6/11/63. 

^^'The  FBI  has  denied  that  it  ever  conducted  a  "security-type  investigation" 
of  the  Birch  Society  or  Welcli,  but  states  the  Boston  field  office  "was  instructed 
in  1959  to  obtain  background  data"  on  Welch  using  public  sources.  (Memoran- 
dum from  the  FBI  to  the  Senate  Select  Committee,  2/10/76.)  A  1963  internal 
FBI  memorandum  stated  that  the  Bureau  "checked  into  the  background  of  the 
Birch  Society  because  of  its  scurrilous  attack  on  President  Eisenhower  and 
other  high  Government  ofiicials."  (Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to 
W.  C.  Sullivan,  5/29/63.)  Reports  were  sent  to  the  White  House,  see  footnote  164. 

^**  Letter  from  Assistant  Attorney  General  Tompkins  to  Sherman  Adams, 
Assistant  to  the  President,  11/22/54;  letters  from  .1.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Robert 
Cutler,  Special  Assistant  to  the  President,  10/15/57,  and  1/17/58.  (Eisenhower 

"•  1960  FBI  Manual  Section  122,  pp.  5-6. 

""  1960  FBI  Manual  Section  122,  pp.  5-6. 

""  "Racial  Tensions  and  C\x\\  Rights,"  3/1/56,  statement  used  by  the  FBI 
Director  at  Cabinet  briefing,  3/9/56. 


c.  FBI  Political  Intelligence  for  the  White  House 

Numerous  items  of  political  intelligence  were  supplied  by  the  FBI 
to  the  White  House  in  each  of  the  three  administrations  during  the 
Cold  War  era,  apparently  satisfying  the  desires  of  Presidents  and 
their  staffs.^^o 

President  Truman  and  his  aides  received  regular  letters  from  Di- 
rector Hoover  labeled  "Personal  and  Confidential"  containing  tidbits 
of  political  intelligence.  The  lettei-s  reported  on  such  subjects  as: 
inside  information  about  the  negotiating  position  of  a  non-Commu- 
nist labor  union;  ^^^  the  activities  of  a  former  Roosevelt  aide  who  was 
trying  to  influence  the  Truman  administration's  appointments;  ^^"  a 
report  from  a  "confidential  source"  that  a  "scandal"  was  brcAving  which 
would  be  "very  embarrassing"  to  the  Democratic  administration;  ^^^  a 
report  from  a  "very  confidential  source"  about  a  meeting  of  news- 
paper representatives  in  Chicago  to  plan  publication  of  stories  expos- 
ing organized  crime  and  corrupt  politicians ;  ^^^  the  contents  of  an 
in-house  communication  from  lYeicsiceek  magazine  reporters  to  their 
editors  about  a  story  they  had  obtained  from  the  State  Department,^^'* 
and  criticism  of  the  government's  internal  security  programs  by  a 
former  Assistant  to  the  Attorney  General."^ 

Letters  discussing  Communist  "influence"  provided  a  considerable 
amount  of  extraneous  information  about  the  legislative  process,  in- 
cluding lobbying  activities  in  support  of  civil  rights  legislation  ^^'  and 
the  political  activities  of  Senators  and  Congressmen.^^^ 

President  Eisenhower  and  his  aides  received  similar  tid-bits  of  po- 
litical intelligence,  including  an  advance  text  of  a  speech  to  be  deliv- 
ered by  a  prominent  labor  leader,^^^  reports  from  Bureau  "sources"  on 
the  meetings  of  an  NAACP  delegation  with  Senators  Paul  Douglas 
and  Everett  Dirksen  of  Illinois;  ^'^"  the  report  of  an  "informant"  on 
the  role  of  the  United  Auto  Workers  Union  at  an  NAACP  confer- 
ence,^^^  summaries  of  data  in  FBI  files  on  thirteen  persons  (including 
Norman  Thomas,  Linus  Pauling,  and  Bertrand  Russell)  who  had  filed 
suit  to  stop  nuclear  testing,^*'-  a  report  of  a  "confidential  source"  on 
plans  of  jNIrs.  Eleanor  Roosevelt  to  hold  a  reception  for  the  head  of 

^^°  See  p.  37  for  discussion  of  White  House  wiretap  requests  in  1945-1948. 

^^  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  George  E.  Allen,  Director,  Reconstruction 
Finance  Corporation,  12/13/46.  (Harry  S.  Truman  Library.) 

^^  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Maj.  Gen.  Harry  H.  Vaughn,  Military  Aide 
to  the  President,  2/15/47.   (Harry  S.  Truman  Librai'y.) 

^^  Letter  from  Hoover  to  Vaughn,  6/25/47.   (Harry  S.  Truman  Library.) 

^^  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Matthew  J.  Connelly,  Secretary  to  the  Presi- 
dent, 1/27/50.  (Harry  S.  Truman  Library.) 

^^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Clark,  4/1/46. 
(Harry  S.  Truman  Library.) 

^'*  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Maj.  Gen.  Harry  H.  Vaughn,  Military  Aide 
to  the  Pre.sident,  11/13/47.  (Harry  S.  Truman  Library.) 

^"  Letters  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Brig.  Gen.  Harry  H.  Vaughn,  Military  Aide 
to  the  President,  1/11/46  and  1/17/46.   (Harry  S.  Truman  Library.) 

"'  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  George  E.  Allen,  Director,  Reconstruction 
Finance  Corporation,  5/29/49.  (Harry  S.  Truman  Library.) 

^  letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Dillon  Anderson,  Special  Assistant  to  the 
President,  4/21/55.  (Eisenhower  Library.) 

""  Letter  from  Hoover  to  Anderson,  3/6/56.  (Eisenhower  Library.) 

"^  Letter  from  Hoover  to  Anderson,  3/5/56.  (Eisenhower  Library.) 

^*"  Letter  from  .T.  Edgar  Ploover  to  Dillon  Anderson,  Special  Assistant  to  the 
President,  4/11/58.  (Eisenhower  Library.) 


a  civil  rights  group/^^  and  reports  on  the  activities  of  Robert  Welch 
and  the  John  Birch  Society.^*^'* 

The  FBI  also  volunteered  to  the  White  House  information  from  its 
most  '"reliable  sources"  on  purely  political  or  social  contacts  with  for- 
eign government  officials  by  a  iDeputy  Assistant  to  the  President/*'^ 
Bernard  Baruch/'^'^  Supreme  Court  Justice  William  O.  Douglas/''' 
and  Mrs.  Eleanor  Roosevelt.^*'® 

Director  Hoover  sent  to  the  White  House  a  report  from  a  "confiden- 
tial informant"  on  the  lobbying  activities  of  a  California  group  called 
Women  for  Legislative  Action  because  its  positions  "paralleled"  the 
Communist  line."'^ 

As  in  the  prior  administrations,  requests  also  flowed  from  the  Eisen- 
hower White  House  to  the  FBI.^'°  For  example,  a  presidential  aide 
asked  the  FBI  to  check  its  files  on  Rev.  Carl  Mclntyre  of  the  Inter- 
national Council  of  Christian  Churches.^'^ 

The  pattern  continued  during  the  Kennedy  administration.  A  sum- 
mary of  material  in  FBI  files  on  a  prominent  entertainer  was  volun- 
teered to  Attorney  General  Kennedy  because  Hoover  thought  it  "may 
be  of  interest."  ^^^  Attorney  General  Kennedy  sent  to  the  President  an 
FBI  memorandum  on  the  purely  ]:)ersonal  life  of  Dr.  ISIartin  Luther 
King,  Jr.^'^  Dii'ector  Hoover  supplied  Attorney  General  Kennedy  with 
background  information  on  a  woman  who  told  an  Italian  newspaper 
that  she  had  once  been  engaaed  to  marry  President  Kennedv  ^'*  and  on 
the  husband  of  a  woman  who  was  reported  in  the  press  to  have  stated 
that  the  President's  daughter  would  enroll  in  a  coopei'ative  nursery 
with  which  she  was  connected."^  The  FBI  Director  also  passed  on 

"'  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Robert  Cutler,  Special  Assistant  to  the 
President,  2/13/58.  (Eisenhower  Library.)  The  group  was  described  as  the 
"successor"  to  a  group  cited  by  the  House  Un-American  Activities  Committee 
as  a  "communist  front." 

^^  Letters  from  .T.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Gordon  Gray,  Special  Assistant  to  the 
President,  9/11/59  and  9/16/59. 

^"^  Letter  from  Hoover  to  Cutler,  6/6/58.  (Eisenhower  Library).  Tliis  involved 
contact  with  a  foreign  official  whose  later  contacts  with  U.S.  officials  were  reported 
by  the  FBI  under  the  Kennedy  Administration  in  connection  with  the  "sugar 
lobby,"  see  pp.  64-65. 

^'"'  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Dillon  Anderson,  Special  Assistant  to  the 
President,  11/7/55.    (Eisenhower  Library.) 

^°"  Letters  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Robert  Cutler,  Administrative  Assistant 
to  the  President,  4/21/53  and  4/27/53.   (Eisenhower  Library.) 

^"^  Letter  from  Hoover  to  Cutler,  10/1/57.    (Ei.senhower  Library.) 

^**  Letter  from  Hoover  to  Gray,  11/9/59.  (Eisenhower  Library.)  Hoover  added 
that  membership  in  the  group  "does  not,  of  itself,  connote  membership  in  or 
sympathy  with  the  Communist  Party." 

"°  Requests  under  the  Roosevelt  and  Truman  administrations,  including  wire- 
tap requests,  are  discussed  at  pp.  .33  and  37. 

^^  Letter  from  .1.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Thomas  E.  Stephens,  Secretary  to  the 
President,  4/13/54.    (Eisenhower  Library.) 

"^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  R.  F.  Kennedy,  2/10/61,  "Personal." 
(John  F.  Kennedy  Library.) 

™  Memorandum  from  the  Attorney  General  to  the  President,  8/20/63,  attach- 
ing memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Deputy  Attorney  General  Katzenbach,  8/13/63. 
(John  F.  Kennedy  Library.) 

"*  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  R.  F.  Kennedy,  2/6/61,  "Personal." 
(John  F.  Kennedy  Library.) 

"^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  R.  F.  Kennedy,  2/8/61,  "Personal." 
(John  F.  Kennedy  Library.) 


information  from  a  Bureau  "source"  regarding  plans  of  a  group  to 
publish  allei>ations  about  the  Pi-esident's  personal  life.^"*' 

In  1962  the  FBI  complied  unquestioningly  with  a  request  from  At- 
torney General  Kennedy  to  interview  a  Steel  Company  executive  and 
several  reporters  who  had  written  stories  about  the  Steel  executive. 
The  interviews  were  conducted  late  at  night  and  early  in  the  morning 
because,  according  to  the  responsible  FBI  official,  the  Attorney  Gen- 
eral indicated  the  information  was  needed  for  a  White  House  meeting 
the  next  day.^" 

Throughout  the  period,  the  Bureau  also  disseminated  reports  to 
high  executive  officials  to  discredit  its  critics.  The  FBI's  inside  infor- 
mation on  plans  of  the  Lawyers  Guild  to  denounce  Bureau  surveil- 
lance in  1949  gave  the  Attorney  General  the  opportunity  to  prepare  a 
rebuttal  well  in  advance  of  the  expected  criticism. ^'^  AAHien  the  Knox- 
ville  Area  Human  Relations  Council  charged  in  1960  that  the  FBI  was 
practicing  racial  discrimination,  the  FBI  did  "name  checks'"  on  mem- 
ber of  the  Council's  board  of  directors  and  sent  the  results  to  the  At- 
torney General.  The  name  checks  dredged  up  derogatory  allegations 
from  as  far  back  as  the  late  thirties  and  early  forties.^'" 

d.  IRS  Investigations  of  Political  Organizations 
The  lES  program  that  came  to  be  used  against  the  domestic  dissi- 
dents of  the  1960s  was  first  used  against  Communists  in  the  1950s. 
As  part  of  its  COINTELPRO  against  the  Communist  Party,  the 
FBI  arranged  for  IRS  investigations  of  Pai'ty  members,  and  ob- 
tained their  tax  returns.^^°  In  its  efforts  against  the  Connnunist  Party, 
the  FBI  had  unlimited  access  to  tax  returns :  it  never  told  the  IRS  why 
it  wanted  them,  and  IRS  never  attempted  to  find  out.^^^ 

In  1961,  responding  to  White  House  and  congressional  interest  in 
right-wing  organizations,  the  IRS  began  comprehensive  investiga- 
tions of  right-wing  groups  to  identify  contributors  and  ascertain 
whether  or  not  some  of  them  were  entitled  to  their  tax  exempt  status.^^^ 
Left-wing  groups  were  later  added,  in  an  effort  to  avoid  charges  that 
such  IRS  activities  were  all  aimed  at  one  part  of  the  political  spectrum. 
Both  right-  and  left-wing  groups  were  selected  for  review  and  investi- 
gation because  of  their  political  activity  and  not  because  of  any  infor- 
mation that  they  had  violated  the  tax  laws.^^^ 

While  the  IRS  efforts  begun  in  1961  to  investigate  the  political 
activities  of  tax  exempt  organizations  were  not  as  extensive  as  later 

""Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  R.  F.  Kennedy,  11/20/63.  (John  F. 
Kennedy  Library.) 

^"  Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Kennedy  to  the  President,  4/12/62  en- 
closing memorandum  from  Director.  FBI,  to  the  Attorney  General,  4/12/62 ; 
testimony  of  Courtney  Evans,  former  Assistant  Director,  FBI,  12/l/7r>,  p.  .39. 

""  Letter  from  Attorney  General  McGrath  to  President  Truman,  12/7/49 ;  letter 
from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Maj.  Gen.  Harry  H.  Vaughn,  Military  Aide  to  the  Presi- 
dent, 1/14/50. 

^™  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  William  P.  Rogers, 

'**  Memorandum  from  A.  H.  Belmont  to  L.  V.  Boardman,  8/28/56,  p.  4. 

'"^  Leon  Green  testimony,  9/12/75,  pp.  6-8. 

^*''  Memorandum,  William  Loeb,  Assistant  Commissioner,  Compliance  to  Dem. 
J.  Barron,  Director  of  Audit,  11/30/61. 

^^  Memorandum,  Attorney  Assistant  to  Commis.sion  to  Director,  IRS  Audit 
Division,  4/2/62. 


programs  in  1969-1973,  they  were  a  significant  departure  by  the  IRS 
from  normal  enforcement  criteria  for  investigating  persons  or  groups 
on  the  basis  of  information  indicating  noncompliance.  By  directing 
tax  audits  at  individuals  and  groups  solely  because  of  their  political 
beliefs,  the  Ideological  Organizations  Audit  Project  (as  the  1961  pro- 
gram was  known )^^*  established  a  precedent  for  a  far  more  elaborate 
program  of  targeting  "dissidents."  ^^^ 

Jf.  AccountdbiUty  and  Control 

During  the  Cold  War  period,  there  were  serious  weaknesses  in  the 
system  of  accountability  and  control  of  domestic  intelligence  activity. 
On  occasion  the  executive  chose  not  to  comply  with  the  will  of  Congress 
with  respect  to  internal  security  policy ;  and  the  Congressional  attempt 
to  exclude  U.S.  foreign  intelligence  agencies  from  domestic  activities 
was  evaded.  Intelligence  agencies  also  conducted  covert  programs  in 
violation  of  laws  protecting  the  rights  of  Americans.  Problems  of  ac- 
countability were  compounded  by  the  lack  of  effective  congressional 
oversight  and  the  vagueness  of  executive  orders,  which  allowed  intelli- 
gence agencies  to  escape  outside  scrutiny. 

a.  The  Emergency  Detention  Act 
In  1946,  four  years  before  the  Emergency  Detention  Act  of  1950 
was  passed,  the  FBI  advised  Attorney  General  Clark  that  it  had 
secretly  compiled  a  security  index  of  "potentially  dangerous''  per- 
sons. "'^  The  Justice  Department  then  made  tentative  plans  for  emer- 
gency detention  based  on  suspension  of  the  privilege  of  the  writ  of 
habeas  corpus.^^^  Department  officials  deliberately  avoided  going  to 
Congress,  advising  the  FBI  in  a  "blind  men:iorandum  :" 

The  present  is  no  time  to  seek  legislation.  To  ask  for  it  would 
only  bring  on  a  loud  and  acrimonious  discussion.^^^ 

In  1950,  however.  Congress  passed  the  Emergency  Detention  Act 
which  established  standards  and  procedures  for  the  detention,  in  the 
event  of  war,  invasion  or  insurrection  "in  aid  of  a  foreign  enemy,"  of 
any  person : 

as  to  whom  there  is  reasonable  ground  to  believe  that  such 
person  probably  will  engage  in,  or  probably  will  conspire  with 
others  to  engage  in,  acts  of  espionage  or  sabotage. 

The  Act  did  not  authorize  the  suspension  of  the  privilege  of  the  writ 
of  habeas  corpus,  and  it  provided  that  detained  persons  could  appeal  to 
a  review  board  and  to  the  courts. ^^® 

Shortly  after  passage  of  the  Detention  Act,  according  to  a  Bureau 
document.  Attorney  General  J.  Howard  McGrath  told  the  FBI  to 

'**  IRS  referred  to  it  as  Tax  Political  Action  Groups  Project.  It  was  apparently 
labeled  as  above  by  the  Joint  Committee  on  Internal  Revenue  Taxation. 

^^'  See  pp.  94—96  for  discussion  of  later  IRS  programs. 

'^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Clark,  3/8/46.  See 
footnote  67  for  the  origins  of  the  Security  Index  in  contravention  of  Attorney 
General  Biddle's  policy. 

^^  Memorandum  from  Assistant  Attorney  General  T.  L.  Caudle  to  Attorney  Gen- 
eral Clark,  7/11/46. 

^^^  Quoted  in  internal  FBI  memorandum  from  D.  M.  Ladd  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover, 

'"*  Internal  Security  Act  of  1950,  Title  II— Emergency  Detention,  64  Stat.  987 


disregard  it  and  to  "proceed  with  the  program  as  previously  outlined." 
Department  officials  stated  that  the  Act  was  "in  conflict  with"  their 
plans,  and  was  "unworkable."  FBI  officials  agreed  that  the  statutory 
procedures — such  as  "recourse  to  the  courts"  instead  of  suspension  of 
habeas  corpus — would  "destroy"  their  program.^'"^  ]\Ioreover,  the  Secu- 
rity Index  used  broader  standards  to  determine  "potential  danger- 
ousness"  than  those  pi-escribed  in  the  statute;  and,  unlike  the  Act, 
Department  plans  provided  for  issuing  a  Master  Search  Warrant  and 
a  Master  Arrest  Warrant. ^^^  Two  subsequent  Attorneys  General 
endorsed  the  decision  to  ignore  the  Emergency  Detention  Act.^^- 

h.  Withholding  Information 
Xot  only  did  tlie  FBI  and  the  Justice  Department  jointly  keep  their 
noncompliance  with  the  Detention  Act  secret  from  Congress,  but  the 
FBI  withheld  important  aspects  of  its  program  from  the  Attorney 
General.  FBI  personnel  had  been  instructed  in  1949  that: 

no  mention  must  be  made  in  any  investigative  report  relating 
to  the  classifications  of  top  functionaries  and  key  figures,  nor 
to  the  Detcom  and  Comsab  Programs,  nor  to  the  Security 
Index  or  the  Communist  Index.  These  investigative  proce- 
dures and  administrative  aides  are  confidential  and  should 
not  be  known  to  any  outside  agency.^^^ 

FBI  documents  indicate  that  only  the  Security  Index  was  made  known 
to  the  Justice  Dei)artment. 

In  1955,  the  FBI  tightened  formal  standards  for  the  Security  Index, 
reducing  its  size  from  26,174  to  12,870  by  1958.^^*  However,  there  is  no 
indication  that  the  FBI  told  the  Department  that  it  kept  the  names  of 
persons  taken  off  the  Security  Index  on  a  Communist  Index,  because 
the  Bureau  believed  such  persons  remained  "potential  threats."  ^^^"^ 
The  secret  Communist  Index  was  renamed  the  Eeserve  Index  in  1960 
and  expanded  to  include  "influential"  persons  deemed  likely  to  "aid 
subversive  elements''  in  an  emergency  because  of  their  "subversive  as- 
sociations and  ideology."  Such  individuals  fell  under  the  following 
categories : 

Professors,  teachers,  and  educators;  labor  union  organizers 
and  leaders;  Avriters,  lecturers,  newsmen  and  others  in  the 
mass  media  field;  lawyers,  doctors,  and  scientists;  other  po- 
tentially influential  persons  on  a  local  or  national  level ;  indi- 
viduals who  could  potentially  furnish  financial  or  material 

'*'  Memorandum  from  A.  H.  Belmont  to  D.  M.  Ladd,  10/15/52. 

"'  Memoi-andum  from  D.  M.  Ladd  to  .7.  Edgar  Hoover,  11/13/52. 

^^-  Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  James  McGranery  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover. 
11/2.5/52;  memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Herbert  Brownell  to  J.  Edgar 
Hoover,  4/27/53. 

^^  SAC  Letter  No.  97,  Series  1949,  10/19/49.  Field  offices  gave  special  attention 
to  "key  figixres"  and  "top  functionaries"  of  the  Communist  Party.  The  "Comsab" 
program  concentrated  on  potential  Communist  saboteurs,  and  the  "Detcom"  pro- 
gram was  the  FBI's  own  "priority  arrest"  list.  The  Communist  Index  was  "a  com- 
prehensive compilation  of  individuals  of  interest  to  the  internal  security." 

^"  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Brownell.  3/9/55 ; 
memorandum  from  .1.  F.  Bland  to  A.  H.  Belmont,  7/30/58. 

^^*^  Memorandum  from  A.  H.  Belmont  to  L.  V.  Boardman,  1/14/55. 


Persons  on  the  Reserve  Index  would  receive  "priority  consideration" 
for  "action''  after  detention  of  Security  Index  subjects.  The  breadth 
of  this  list  is  illustrated  by  the  inclusion  of  the  names  of  author 
Norman  Mailer  and  a  professor  who  merely  praised  the  Soviet  Union 
to  his  class.^'*^ 

In  addition  to  keeping  these  programs  secret,  the  FBI  withheld 
information  about  espionage  from  the  Justice  Department  on  at  least 
two  occasions.  In  1946  the  FBI  had  "identified  over  100  persons''  whom 
it  "suspected  of  being  in  the  Government  Communist  Underground." 
Neither  this  number  nor  any  names  from  this  list  were  given  to  the 
Department  because  Director  Hoover  feared  "leaks,"  and  because  the 
Bureau  conceded  in  its  internal  documents  that  it  did  "not  have 
evidence,  whether  admissible  or  otherwise,  reflecting  actual  member- 
ship in  the  Communist  Party."  ^^^  Thus  the  Bureau's  "suspicions"  were 
not  tested  by  outside  review  by  the  Justice  Department  and  the  investi- 
gations could  continue.  In  1951  the  FBI  again  withheld  from  the 
Department  names  of  certain  espionage  subjects  "for  security  reasons," 
since  disclosure  "would  destroy  chances  of  penetration  and  control."  ^^'^ 

Even  the  President's  Temporary  Commission  on  Employee  Loyalty 
could  not  get  highly  relevant  information  from  the  Bureau.  FBI  As- 
sistant Director  D.  M.  Ladd  told  the  Commission  in  1946  that  there 
was  a  "substantial"  amount  of  Communist  "infiltration  of  the  gov- 
ernment." But  Ladd  declined  to  answer  when  Commission  members 
asked  for  more  details  of  FBI  intelligence  operations  and  the  infor- 
mation which  served  as  the  basis  for  his  characterization  of  the  ex- 
tent of  infiltration. ^^^  The  Commission  prepared  a  list  of  questions  for 
the  FBI  and  asked  that  Director  Hoover  appear  in  person.  Instead, 
Attornej^  General  Clark  made  an  "informal''  appearance  and  supplied 
a  memorandum  stating  that  the  number  of  "subversives"  in  govern- 
ment had  "not  yet  reached  serious  proportions,''  but  that  the  possibility 
of  "even  one  disloyal  person"  in  government  service  constituted  a 
"serious  threat."  ^^^  Thus,  the  President's  Commission  chose  not  to 
insist  upon  making  a  serious  evaluation  of  FBI  intelligence  operations 
or  the  extent  of  the  danger. 

The  record  suggests  that  executive  officials  were  forced  to  make  de- 
cisions regarding  security  policy  without  full  knowledge.  They  had 
to  depend  on  the  FBI's  estimate  of  the  problem,  rather  than  being 
able  to  make  their  ovv^n  assessment  on  the  basis  of  complete  informa- 
tion. It  is  also  apparent  that  by  this  time  outside  officials  were  some- 
times unwilling  to  oppose  Director  Hoover  or  to  inquire  fully  into  FBI 

c.  CIA  Domestic  Activity 
(1)    Vague  Controls  on  CIA. — The  vagueness  of  Congress's  pro- 
hibitions of  "internal  security  functions"  by  the  CIA  left  room  for  the 

^°°  Memorandum  from  A.  H.  Belmont  to  Mr.  Parsons,  6/3/60. 

^"'  Memorandum  from  D.  M.  Ladd  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  9/5/46 ;  memorandum 
from  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Clark,  9/5/46. 

^®'  Memorandum  from  A.  H.  Belmont  to  D.  M.  Ladd.  4/17/51. 

"*  Minutes  of  the  President's  Temporary  Commission  on  Employee  Loyalty, 
1/17/47.  (Harry  S.  Truman  Library.) 

^M  Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Clark  to  Mr.  Vanecli,  Chairman,  Presi- 
dent's Temporary  Commission,  2/14/47.  (Tiiiman  Library.) 

"'"'  See  finding  (G)  for  a  full  discussion  of  the  problem  of  FBI  accountability. 


Agency's  subsequent  domestic  activity.  A  restriction  against  "police, 
law  enforcement  or  internal  security  functions"  first  appeared  in 
President  Truman's  order  establishing  the  Central  Intelligence  Group 
in  1946.-°^ 

General  Vandenburg,  then  Director  of  Central  Intelligence,  testified 
in  1947  that  this  restriction  was  intended  to  "draw  the  lines  very 
sharply  between  the  CIG  and  the  FBI"  and  to  "assure  that  the  Central 
Intelligence  Group  can  never  become  a  Gestapo  or  security  police."  -°- 
Secretary  of  tlie  Navy  ,Tames  Forrestal  testified  that  the  CIA  would  be 
"limited  definitely  to  purposes  outside  of  this  country,  except  the  col- 
lection of  information  gathered  by  other  government  agencies."  The 
FBI  would  be  relied  upon  "for  domestic  activities."  ^°^ 

In  the  House  floor  debate  Congressman  Holifield  stressed  that  the 
work  of  the  CIA  : 

is  strictly  in  the  field  of  secret  foreign  intelligence — what  is 
known  as  clandestine  intelligence.  They  have  no  right  in  the 
domestic  field  to  collect  information  of  a  clandestine  military 
nature.  They  can  evaluate  it;  yes."°^ 

Consequentlv,  the  National  Security  Act  of  1947  provided  specifically 
that  the  CIA 

shall  have  no  police,  subpoena,  law-enforcement  powers,  or 
internal  security  functions.^"^ 

However,  the  1947  Act  also  contained  a  vague  and  undefined  duty  to 
protect  intelligence  "sources  and  methods"  which  later  was  used  to 
justify  domestic  activities  ranging  from  electronic  surveillance  and 
break-ins  to  penetration  of  protest  groups.^"** 

(2)  Drug  Testing  and  Cover  Programs. — In  the  early  1950s,  the 
CIA  began  a  program  of  surreptitiously  testing  chemical  and  biologi- 
cal materials,  which  included  drug  testing  on  unwitting  Americans. 
The  existence  of  such  a  program  was  kept  secret  because,  as  the  CIA's 
Inspector  General  wrote  in  1957,  it  was  necessary  to  "protect  oper- 
ations from  exposure"  to  "the  American  public"  as  well  as  "enemy 
forces."  Public  knowledge  of  the  CIA's  "unethical  and  illicit  activ- 
ities" was  thought  likely  to  have  serious  "political  repercussions."  -°^ 
CIA  drug  experimentors  disregarded  instmctions  of  their  superiors 
within  the  Agency  and  failed  to  take  "reasonable  precautions"  when 

''^  Presidential  Directive,  Coordination  of  Federal  Foreign  Intelligence  Activi- 
ties, 1/22/46,  11  Fed.  Reg.  1337.  Fears  that  a  foreign  intelligence  agency  would 
intrude  into  domestic  matters  went  back  to  1944,  when  General  William  Dono- 
van, head  of  the  Office  of  Strategic  Services  (the  CIA's  wartime  predecessor) 
proposed  that  OSS  be  transformed  from  a  wartime  basis  to  a  permanent  "central 
intelligence  service."  Donovan's  plan  was  leaked  to  the  Chicago  Tribune,  al- 
legedly by  FBI  Director  Hoover,  and  it  was  denounced  as  a  "super  spy  system" 
which  would  "pry  into  the  lives  of  citizens  at  home."  [Corey  Ford,  Donovan  of 
the  OSS  (Boston:  Little,  Brown,  1970),  pp.  303-304.] 

-®  Hearings  before  the  Senate  Armed  Services  Committee  on  S.  758,  80th  Cong. 
(1947),  p.  497. 

-'"'  Hearings  before  the  House  Committee  on  Expenditures  in  the  Executive 
Departments  on  H.R.  2319,  80th  Cong.  (1947),  p.  127. 

'°*93  Cong.  Rec.  9430  (1947). 

^'^  50  U.S.C.  403(d)  (3). 

'"'^  See  pp.  102-103. 

^"'Inspector  General's  Report  on  the  Technical  Services  Division,  Central 
Intelligence  Agency,  1957. 


they  undertook  the  test  which  resulted  in  the  death  of  Dr.  Frank 

The  CIA  made  extensive  use  of  the  Bureau  of  Narcotics  and  Dan- 
gerous Drugs  in  conducting  its  program  of  drug  testing  on  unwitting 

Military  intelligence  also  administered  drugs  to  volunteer  subjects 
who  were  unaware  of  the  purpose  or  nature  of  the  tests  in  which  they 
were  participating.-"^ 

The  CIA's  drug  research  was  conducted  in  part  through  arrange- 
ments with  universities,  hospitals,  and  "private  research  organiza- 
tions" in  a  manner  which  concealed  "from  the  institution  the  interests 
of  the  CIA,"  although  "key  individuals"  were  made  witting  of  Agency 
sponsorship.^^"  There  were  similar  covert  relationships  with  American 
private  institutions  in  other  CIA  intelligence  activities.^" 

5.  Intrusive  Techniques 

Throughout  the  cold  war  period,  the  intelligence  agencies  used 
covert  techniques  which  invaded  personal  privacy  to  execute  their 
vague,  uncontrolled,  and  overly  broad  mandate  to  collect  intelligence. 
Intelligence  techniques  were  not  properly  controlled  by  responsible 
authorities;  some  of  the  techniques  were  misused  by  senior  adminis- 
tration officials.  On  the  other  hand,  the  nature  of  the  programs — 
and,  in  some  cases,  their  very  existence — was  often  concealed  from 
those  authorities. 

a.  C onvmunications  Interception:  CIA  and  NSA 
During  the  1950s  the  Central  Intelligence  Agency  instituted  a 
major  program  for  opening  mail  between  the  United  States  and  the 
Soviet  Union  as  it  passed  through  postal  facilities  in  New  York 
City.-^^  Two  other  short-tenn  CIA  projects  in  the  fifties  also  involved 
the  opening  of  international  mail  within  the  United  States,  through 
access  to  Customs  Service  facilities.-"  Moreover,  in  the  late  1940s  the 
Department  of  Defense  made  ai-rangements  with  several  communi- 
cations companies  to  receive  international  cable  traffic,  reinstating  a 
relationship  that  had  existed  during  World  War  11.^^*  These  pro- 
grams violated  not  only  the  ban  on  internal  security  functions  by 
foreign  intelligence  agencies  in  the  1947  Act,  but  also  specific  statutes 
protecting  the  privacy  of  the  mails  and  forbidding  the  interception  of 

^'  Memorandum  from  the  CIA  General  Counsel  to  the  Inspector  General, 

""*  U.S.  Army  Intelligence  Center  Staff  Study  :  Material  Testing  Program  EA 
1729,  10/15/59. 

^^  CIA  Inspector  General's  Report,  1963. 

-"  This  issue  is  examined  more  fully  in  the  Committee's  Report  on  Foreign 
and  Military  Intelligence  Activities. 

-^  Memorandum  from  James  Angleton,  Chief,  Counterintelligence  Staff,  to 
Chief  of  Operations,  11/21/55   (attachment). 

^CIA  Memorandum  re:  Project  SETTER,  undated  (New  Orleans)  ;  Memo- 
randum from  "Identity  #13"  to  Deputy  Director  of  Security,  10/9/57  (New 
Orleans)  ;  Rockefeller  Commission  Staff  Summary  of  CIA  Office  Officer  Interview, 
3/18/75  (Hawaii). 

"^*  Robert  Andrews,  Special  Assistant  to  the  General  Counsel,  Department  of 
Defense,  testimony,  9/23/75,  pp.  34-10. 

=^^18  U.S.C.  1701-1703  (mail);  47  U.S.C.  605  (Federal  Communications  Act 
of  1934). 


AVliile  their  original  purpose  was  to  obtain  foreign  intelligence,  the 
programs  frequently  did  not  distinguish  between  the  messages  of  for- 
eigners and  of  Americans.'-^*^  Furthermore,  by  the  late  fifties  and  early 
sixties,  the  CIA  and  NSA  were  sharing  the  "take"  with  the  FBI  for 
domestic  intelligence  purposes.^^" 

In  this  period,  the  CIA  opened  mail  to  and  from  the  Soviet  Union 
largely  at  random,  intercepting  letters  of  Americans  unrelated  to  for- 
eign intelligence  or  counterintelligence.^^*  After  the  FBI  learned  of 
the  CIA  program,  it  levied  requests  in  certain  categories.  Apart  from 
foreign  counterintelligence  criteria,  the  Bureau  expressed  interest 
in  letters  from  citizens  professing  "pro-Communist  sympathies"  ^^^ 
and  "data  re  U.S.  peace  groups  going  to  Russia."  -^° 

The  secret  arrangements  with  cable  companies  to  obtain  copies  of  in- 
ternational traffic  were  initially  authorized  by  Secretary  of  Defense 
James  Forrestal  and  Attorney  General  Tom  Clark,  although  it  is  not 
clear  that  they  knew  of  the  interception  of  American  as  well  as  foreign 
messages.--^  They  developed  no  formal  legal  rationale,  and  their  later 
successors  were  never  consulted  to  renew  the  authorization. ^-'- 

The  CIA  sought  no  outside  authorization  before  instituting  its  mail 
opening  program.  Several  Post  Office  officials  were  misled  into  believ- 
ing that  the  CIA's  request  for  access  to  the  mail  only  involved  examing 
the  exterior  of  the  envelopes.-^^  President  Kennedy's  Postmaster  Gen- 
eral, J.  Edward  Day,  testified  that  he  told  CIA  Director  Allen  Dulles 
he  did  not  want  to  "know  anything  about"  what  the  CIA  was  doing.^^* 
Beyond  undocumented  assumptions  by  (TA  officials,  there  is  no  evi- 
dence tliat  the  President  or  the  Attorney  General  was  ever  informed 
about  any  aspect  of  CIA  mail-opening  operations  in  this  period.^^^ 

-^^  CIA  memoTanduui  "For  the  Record"  from  Thomas  B.  Abernarhy,  S/21/61 ; 
Dr.  Ix)uis  Tordella,  former  Deputy  Director,  National  Security  Agency,  testimony 
10/21/75,  pp.  17-20. 

-"  High  FBI  officials  decided  to  use  the  CIA  mail  opening  program  for  "our 
internal  security  objectives''  in  1958.  They  did  not  want  the  Bureau  to  "assume 
this  coverage"  itself  because  its  "sensitive  nature"  created  "inherent  dangers" 
and  due  to  its  "complexity,  size,  and  expense."  Instead,  the  Bureau  would  hold 
CIA  "responsible  to  share  their  coverage  with  us."  (Memorandum  from  A.  H.  Bel- 
mont to  Mr.  Boardman,  1/22/58.)  The  initial  FBI  request  to  XSA  involved  "com- 
mercial and  personal  communications  between  persons  in  Cuba  and  the  United 
States."  (Memorandum  from  W.  R.  Wannall  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  Assistant  Director, 
Domestic  Intelligence  Division,  5/18/62. ) 

^^^  Abernathy  memorandum,  8/21/61. 

^^  Memorandum  from  W.  A.  Branigan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan  (attachment).  8/21/61. 

=^  Memorandum  from  W.  A.  Branigan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  2/15/62. 

■^  Select  Committee  Memorandum,  Subject :  Review  of  Documents  at  DOD  Re- 
garding LP  MEDLEY,  9/17/75.  ("LP  MEDLEY"  was  the  CIA's  codename  for 
this  program  ;  the  XSA  codename  was  SHAMROCK.) 

"~  Secretary  Forrestal's  immediate  successor,  Louis  Johnson,  renewed  the  ar- 
rangement in  1949.  To  the  knowledge  of  those  interviewed  by  the  Committee,  this 
was  the  last  instance  in  which  the  companies  raised  any  question  as  tO'  the 
authority  for  the  arrangements.  (Andrews,  9/23/75.  pp.  34,  40.) 

"^  Richard  Helms  Testimony,  10/22/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  4,  p.  84.  Memorandum 
from  Richard  Helms  to  Sheffield  Edwards,  Director  of  Security,  5/17/54. 

"^  J.  Edward  Day  Testimony,  10/22/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  4.  p.  45.  However,  a 
contemporaneous  CIA  memorandum  .stated  that  "no  relevant  details"  were  with- 
held from  Day  when  lie  was  Itriefed  in  1961  by  CIA  officials.  (Memorandum  from 
Richard  Helms  to  Deputy  Chief  of  the  Counterintelligence  Staff,  2/16/61.) 

-'-'  Helms,  10/22/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  4,  pp.  87-89. 


6.  FBI  Covert  Techniques 

( 1 )  Electronic  SurveiUance. 

{a)  The  Question  of  Authority :  In  1946  Attorney  General  Tom 
Clark  asked  President  Truman  to  renew  the  authorization  for  war- 
rantless wiretapping  issued  by  President  Roosevelt  in  1940.  Clark's 
memorandum,  however,  did  not  refer  to  the  portion  of  the  Roosevelt 
directive  which  said  wiretaps  should  be  limited  "insofar  as  possible 
to  aliens."  It  stressed  the  danger  from  "subversive  activity  here  at 
home,"  and  requested  authority  to  wiretap  "in  cases  vitally  affecting 
the  domestic  security,"  -^^^  The  President  gave  his  approval.  Truman's 
aides  later  discovered  Attorney  General  Clark's  omission  and  the 
President  considered,  but  decided  against,  returning  to  the  terms  of 
Roosevelt's  authorization.^^^ 

In  1954  the.  Supreme  Court  denounced  the  Fourth  Amendment 
violation  by  j^olice  who  placed  a  microphone  in  a  bedroom  in  a  local 
gambling  case.--® 

Soon  thereafter,  despite  this  decision — and  despite  his  i^redecessor's 
ruling  that  trespassory  installation  of  bugs  was  in  the  "area"  of  the 
Fourth  Amendment — Attorney  General  Herbert  Brownell  authorized 
the  "unrestricted  use"  in  the  "national  interest"  of  "trespass  in  the 
installation  of  microphones."  "'^ 

From  1954  until  1965,  when  Attorney  General  Nicholas  Katzenbach 
reconsidered  the  i^olicy  and  imposed  stricter  regulations,-^"  the  FBI 
had  unsupervised  discretion  to  use  microphone  surveillance  and  to 
conduct  surreptitious  entries  to  install  microphones.  Thus,  the  safe- 
guard of  approval  by  the  Attorney  General  for  each  wiretap  had  been 
undercut  by  the  FBI's  ability  to  intrude  into  other,  often  more  inti- 
mate conversations  by  microphone  "bugging." 

(5)  Extensive  Bugging:  In  May  1961,  Director  Hoover  advised 
Deputy  Attorney  General  Byron  White  that  the  FBI  was  using  "micro- 
phone surveillances"  involving  "trespass"  for  "intelligence  purposes" 
in  the  "internal  security  field."  He  called  White's  attention  to  the  1954 
Brownell  memorandum,  although  he  said  microphones  were  used  "on 
a  restricted  basis"  and  cited  as  examples  only  "Soviet  intelligence 
agents  and  Communist  Party  leaders."  -^^ 

In  fact,  the  FBI  had  already  used  microphone  surveillance  for 
broader  coverage  than  Communists  or  spies.  Indeed,  it  had  "bugged"  a 
hotel  room  occupied  by  a  Congressman  in  February  1961.  There  is 
no  evidence  that  Attorney  General  Kennedy  or  Deputy  Attorney 

^"Letter  from  Attorney  General  Clark  to  President  Truman,  7/17/46. 

^"  Memorandum  from  G.  M.  Elsey,  Assistant  Counsel  to  the  President,  to  S.  J. 
Spingarn;  memorandum  from  Elsey  to  the  President,  2/2/50,  (Spingarn  Papers. 
Harry  S.  Truman  Library ) . 

"^^  Irvine  v.  California,  347  U.S.  128  (1954). 

^  Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Brownell  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  5/20/.54. 
In  1952  Attorney  General  J.  Howard  McGrath  refused  to  authorize  microphone 
surveillance  involving  trespass  because  it  was  "in  the  area  of  the  Fourth  Amend- 
ment." (Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  McGrath  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover, 
2/26/.52. ) 

^^  See  p.  105.  (The  Chief  Counsel  to  the  Select  Committee  disqualified  himself 
from  participating  in  Committee  deliberations  concerning  either  Mr.  Katzenbach 
or  former  Assistant  Attorney  General  Burke  Marshall  because  of  a  previous 
attorney-client  relationship  witli  those  two  persons.) 

-^^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Deputy  Attorney  General  Byron 
White,  5/4/61. 


General  White  were  specifically  informed  of  this  surveillance.  But 
the  Attorney  General  received  information  which  came  from  the 
"bug"  and  authorized  a  wiretap  of  the  Congressman's  secretary.-^^ 

Furthermore,  FBI  records  disclose  that  the  FBI  conducted  war- 
rantless microphone  surveillances  in  1960-1963  directed  at  a  "black 
separatist  group,*'  "black  separatist  group  functionaries''  and  a 
"(white)  racist  organization."^^*  There  may  have  been  others  for 
purely  domestic  intelligence  purposes.-^^ 

The  FBI  maintained  no  "central  file  or  index"  to  record  all  micro- 
phone surveillances  in  this  period,  and  FBI  records  did  not  distinguish 
"bugs"  involving  trespass.-^'' 

(2)  ''''Black  Bag  Johs.''' — There  is  no  indication  that  any  Attorney 
General  was  informed  of  FBI  "black  bag"  jobs,  and  a  "Do  Not  File" 
procedure  was  designed  to  preclude  outside  discovery  of  the  FBI's 
use  of  the  technique. 

No  permanent  records  were  kept  for  approvals  of  "black  bag  jobs," 
or  surreptitious  entries  conducted  for  purposes  other  than  installing  a 
"bug."  The  FBI  has  described  the  procedure  for  authorization  of  sur- 
reptitious entries  as  requiring  the  approval  of  Director  Hoover  or  his 
Assistant  Clyde  Tolson.  The  authorizing  memorandum  was  filed  in  the 
Assistant  Director's  ofKce  under  a  "Do  Not  File"  procedure,  and  there- 

-^  In  the  course  of  an  investigation,  authorized  by  Attorney  General  Kennedy, 
into  lobbying  efforts  on  behalf  of  a  foreign  country  regarding  sugar  quota  legis- 
lation, the  FBI  determined  that  Congressman  Harold  D.  Cooley,  chairman  of  tlie 
House  Agriculture  Committee,  planned  to  meet  with  representatives  of  a  foreign 
country  in  a  hotel  room.  (FBI  memorandum,  2/15/61;  Memorandum  from 
\V.  R.  Wannall  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  12/22/66.) 

At  the  instruction  of  Director  Hoover,  the  Bureau  installed  a  microphone  in 
the  hotel  room  to  record  this  meeting.  (FBI  memorandum,  2/15/61;  Memo- 
randum from  D.  E.  Moore  to  A.  H.  Belmont,  2/16/61.)  The  results  of  the  meeting 
were  subsequently  disseminated  to  the  Attorney  General.  (Memorandum  from 
J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Kennedy,  2/18/61. ) 

A  reviw  of  this  case  by  FBI  officials  in  1966  concluded  that  "our  files  contain 
no  clear  indication  that  the  Attorney  General  was  specifically  advised  that  a 
microphone  surveillance  was  being  utilized.  .  ."  (Memorandum  from  AVannall 
to  Sullivan,  12/21/66.)  It  was  noted,  liowever,  that  on  the  morning  of  Febru- 
ary 17,  1961 — after  the  microphone  was  in  place  but  an  hour  or  two  before  the 
meeting  actually  occurred — Director  Hoover  .spoke  with  Attorney  General 
Kennedy  and,  according  to  Hoover's  contemporaneous  memorandum,  advised 
him  that  the  Cooley  meeting  was  to  take  place  that  day  and  that  "we  are  trying 
to  cover"  it.  (Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Messrs.  Tolson,  Parsons, 
Mohr,  Belmont,  and  DeLoach,  2/17/61.) 

^*  According  to  records  compiled  by  the  FBI,  there  was  FBI  microphone  sur- 
veillance of  one  "black  separatist  group"  in  1960 ;  one  "black  separatist  group" 
and  one  "black  separatist  group  functionary"  in  1961 ;  two  "black  separatist 
grouixs,"  one  "black  separatist  group  functionary,"  and  one  "(white)  racist 
organization"  in  1962 ;  and  two  "black  separatist  groups"  and  one  "black 
separatist  group  functionarv"  in  1963.  (Memorandum  from  FBI  to  Select  Com- 
mittee. 10/23/75. ) 

""  The  Select  Committee  has  determined  that  the  FBI,  on  at  least  one  occasion, 
maintained  no  records  of  the  approval  of  a  microphone  surveillance  authorized 
by  an  Assistant  Director.  (FBI  Memorandum,  1/30/75,  Subject:  Special  Squad 
at  Democratic  National  Convention,  Atlantic  City,  New  Jersey,  8/22-28/64.) 

^"  Memorandum  from  the  FBI  to  the  Senate  Select  Committee,  10/17/75.  This 
memorandum  also  states  that,  on  the  basis  of  the  recollections  of  agents  and  a 
review  of  headquarters  files,  the  FBI  has  "been  able  to  identify"  the  following 
number  of  "surreptitious  entries  for  microphone  installations"  in  "internal 
security,  intelligence,  and  counterintelligence"  investigations:  1960:  49;  1961: 
63 ;  1962 :  75 :  1963 :  79 ;  and  the  following  number  of  such  entries  "in  criminal 
inve.stigations"  (as  opposed  to  intelligence):  1960:  11;  1961:  69;  1962:  106; 
1963:  84. 


after  destroyed.  In  the  field  office,  the  Special  Agent  in  Charge  main- 
tained a  record  of  approval  in  his  office  safe.  At  the  next  yearly  field 
office  inspection,  an  Inspector  would  review  these  records  to  ensure 
that  the  SAC  had  secured  FBI  headquarters  approval  in  conducting 
surreptitious  entires.  Upon  completion  of  the  review,  these  records 
were  destroyecl.-^^ 

The  only  internal  FBI  memorandum  found  discussing  the  policy 
for  surreptitious  entries  confirms  that  this  was  the  procedure  and 
states  that  "we  do  not  obtain  authorization  from  outside  the  Bureau" 
because  the  technique  was  "clearly  illegal."  The  memorandum  indi- 
cates that  "black  bag  jobs"  were  used  not  only  "in  the  espionage  field" 
but  also  against  "subversive  elements"  not  directly  connected  to  es- 
pionage activity.  It  added  that  the  techniques  resulted  "on  numerous 
occasions"  in  obtaining  the  "highly  secret  and  closely  guarded"  mem- 
bership and  mailing  lists  of  "subversive"  groups.^^* 

(3)  Mail  Opening. — The  FBI  did  not  seek  outside  authorization 
when  it  reinstituted  mail  opening  programs  in  the  fifties  and  early 
sixties.  Eight  programs  were  conducted  for  foreign  intelligence  and 
counterespionage  purposes,  and  Bureau  officials  who  supervised  these 
programs  have  testified  that  legal  considerations  were  simply  not 
raised  at  the  time.-^^ 

Bej^ond  their  original  purpose,  the  FBI  mail  opening  programs 
produced  some  information  of  an  essentially  domestic  nature.  For 
example,  during  this  period  one  program  supplied  "considerable  data" 
about  American  citizens  who  expressed  pro-Communist  sympathies 
or  made  "anti-U.S.  statements."  ^*°  Some  of  the  mail-opening  by- 
product regarding  Americans  was  diSvSeminated  to  other  agencies  for 
law  enforcement  purposes,  with  the  source  disguised.^*^ 

c.  Use  of  FBI  Wiretaps 
The  authorization  for  wiretapping  issued  by  President  Truman  in 
19-i6  allowed  the  Attorney  General  to  approve  wiretaps  in  the  investi- 
gation of  "subversive  activity"  to  protect  the  "domestic  security."  ^^^ 

^^'Memoraiiclum  from  the  FBI  to  the  Senate  Select  Committee,  9/23/75. 

"*  Memorandum  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  C.  D.  DeLoach,  7/19/66.  Subject : 
"Black  Bag"  Jobs.  Initials  on  this  memorandum  indicate  that  it  was  prepared 
by  F.  J.  Baumgardner,  an  FBI  Intelligence  Division  Section  Chief,  and  approved 
by  J.  A.  Sizoo,  principal  deputy  to  Assistant  Director  W.  C.  Sullivan.  This 
memorandum  was  located  in  Director  Hoover's  "Official  and  Confidential"  files, 
and  it  appears  that  the  memorandum  was  shifted  from  Hoover's  "Personal  Files" 
shortly  Ijefore  his  death.   (Helen  Gandy  deposition,  11/12/75,  pp.  4-6.) 

The  FBI  compiled  a  list  of  the  "domestic  subversive"  targets,  based  "upon 
recollections  of  Special  Agents  who  have  knowledge  of  such  activities,  and  review 
of  those  files  identified  by  recollection  as  being  targets  of  surreptitious  entries." 
The  list  states  '''at  least  fourteen  domestic  subversive  targets  were  the  subject  of 
at  least  238  entries  from  1942  to  April  1968.  In  addition,  at  least  three  domestic 
subversive  targets  were  the  subject  of  numerous  entries  from  October  1952  to 
June  1966.  .  .  .  One  white  hate  group  was  the  target  of  an  entry  in  March  1966." 
The  Bureau  admits  that  this  list  is  "incomplete."  (Memorandum  from  the  FBI 
to  the  Senate  Select  Committee,  9/23/75.) 

■^''  DeiK)sition  of  William  R.  Branigan,  Section  Chief,  FBI  Intelligence  Division, 
10/9/75.  pp.  13,  39,  -10.  Testimony  of  Assistant  Director  W.  Raymond  Wannall, 
FBI  Intelligence  Di\4sion,  10/24/75,  Hearings,  vol.  4,  pp.  148-49. 

-"Memorandum  from  San  Francisco  field  office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  3/11/60. 

-"Memorandum  from  S.  B.  Donahoe  to  W.  C.  Sullivan.  9/15/61 ;  Memorandum 
from  San  Francisco  field  office  to  FBI  headquarters,  7/28/61. 

="  Letter  from  Attorney  General  Clark  to  President  Truman,  7/17/46. 


A  wiretap  on  an  official  of  the  Nation  of  Islam,  originally  authorized 
by  Attorney  General  Herbert  Brownell  in  1957,  continued  thereafter 
without  re-authorization  until  1965.-^-^  Attorney  General  Robert  Ken- 
nedy approved  FBI  requests  for  wiretaps  on  an  Alabama  Klan  leader 
in  1963  -*'*  and  on  black  separatist  group  leader  Malcolm  X  in  1964.  ^*^ 
Kennedy  also  authorized  wiretap  coverage  requested  by  the  Warren 
Commission  in  1964.''**^  Kemiedy's  approval  of  FBI  requests  for  wire- 
taps on  Dr.  Martin  Luther  King  and  several  of  his  associates  are  dis- 
cussed in  greater  detail  elsewhere  in  the  Committee's  report. ^^^ 

In  addition,  Attorney  General  Kennedy  approved  wiretaps  on  four 
American  citizens  during  investigations  of  "classified  information 
leaks."  The  taps  failed  to  discover  the  sources  of  the  alleged  "leaks" 
and  involved  procedural  irregularities.  In  1961  Attorney  General 
Kennedy  told  Director  Hoover  that  the  President  wanted  the  FBI 
to  determine  who  was  responsible  for  an  apparent  "leak"  to  Newsweek 
reporter  Lloyd  Norman,  author  of  an  article  about  American  mili- 
tary plans  in  Germany.^^^  But  the  Attorney  General  was  not  asked  to 
approve  a  wiretap  on  Norman's  residence  until  after  it  was  installed. 

According  to  contemporaneous  Bureau  memoranda,  wiretaps  in 
1962  on  the  residence  of  New  York  Times  reporter  Hanson  Baldwin 
and  his  secretaiy  to  determine  the  source  of  an  article  about  Soviet 
missile  sites  were  also  instituted  without  prior  written  approval  of 
the  Attorney  General ;  and  one  of  them — the  tap  on  the  secretary — 
Avas  instituted  without  the  Attorney  General's  prior  knowledge.^^^ 
Kennedy's  written  approval  was  obtained,  however,  three  days  after 
the  Baldwin  tap  was  installed  and  four  days  after  the  tap  on  tlie 
secretary  was  installed. '^° 

The  pattern,  including  ex  post  facto  approval,  was  repeated  for 
Aviretaps  of  a  former  FBI  agent  who  disclosed  "confidential"  Bureau 
information  in  a  public  forum.  The  first  tap  lasted  for  eight  days  in 
1962,  and  it  was  reinstituted  in  1963  for  an  undetermined  period.^'^^ 
Attorney  General  Kennedy  was  advised  that  the  FBI  desired  to  place 
the  initial  coverage ;  but  he  was  not  informed  that  it  had  been  effected 
the  day  before,  and  he  did  not  grant  written  approval  until  the  day 

^^  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Brownell,  12/31/56. 

^*'  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Kennedy,  10/9/63. 

^^  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Kennedy,  4/1/64. 

^  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Kennedy,  2/24/64. 

""  See  Findings  C  and  G  and  Committee  Report  on  the  FBI  and  Dr.  Martin 
Luther  King.  .Tr. 

'"^  Memorandum  from  R.  D.  Cotter  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  12/15/66.  On  the  .same 
day,  and  without  specific  authorization  from  the  Attorney  General,  the  FBI 
placed  a  wiretap  on  Norman's  residence.  Attorney  General  Kennedy  was 
informed  of  the  wiretap  two  days  later,  and  approved  it  the  following  day. 
(Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Kennedy,  6/29/61.) 
The  tap  continued  for  four  days  until  Norman  went  on  vacation.  (Memorandum 
from  S.  B.  Donahoe  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  7/3/61.)  At  no  time  did  this  or  any  other 
aspect  of  the  FBI's  investigation  produce  any  evidence  that  Norman  had  actu- 
ally ohtained  classified  information.  An  FBI  summary  stated  :  "The  majority  of 
those  interviewed  thought  a  competent,  well-informed  reporter  could  have  writ- 
ten the  article  without  having  reviewed  or  received  classified  informption." 
(Memorandum  from  Cotter  to  Sullivan,  12/15/66.) 

=^' Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Kennedy,  7/27/62. 

=^''  Memorandum  from  .T.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Kennedy,  7/31/62. 
The  tap  on  the  secretarv  lasted  three  weeks,  and  the  tap  on  Baldwin  a  month. 
Memoranda  from  W.  R.'wannall  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  8/13/62  and  S/28/62. 

^'^  Unaddressed  memorandum  from  A.  H.  Belmont,  1/9/63. 


it  was  terminated.-^-  It  appears  that  only  oral  authorization  was 
obtained  for  reinstitiiting  the  tap  in  1963.^^^ 

In  February  1961,  Attorney  General  Kennedy  requested  the  FBI 
to  initiate  an  investigation  for  the  purpose  of  developing : 

intelligence  data  which  would  provide  President  Kennedy  a 
picture  of  what  was  behind  pressures  exerted  on  behalf  of  [a 
foreign  country]  regarding  sugar  quota  deliberations  in  Con- 
gress ...  in  connection  with  pending  sugar  legislation.^^* 

This  investigation  lasted  approximately  nine  weeks,  and  was  rein- 
stituted  for  a  three-month  period  in  mid-1962. 

According  to  an  FBI  memorandum,  the  Attorney  General  author- 
ized the  wiretaps  in  1961  on  the  theory  that  "the  administration  has 
to  act  if  money  or  gifts  are  being  passed  by  the  [representatives  of  a 
foreign  country].*' ^■'^■'"'  Specifically,  he  approved  wiretaps  on  several 
American  citizens :  three  officials  of  the  Agriculture  Department  (resi- 
dences only)  ;  '^®  the  clerk  of  the  House  Committee  on  Agriculture 
who  was  also  secretary  to  the  chairman  (residence  only)  ;  -^'  and  a  reg- 
istered agent  of  the  foreign  country  (both  residence  and  business  tele- 
phones).^^^  After  passage  of  the  Administration's  own  sugar  bill  in 
April  1961,  these  wiretaps  were  discontinued.-'^^ 

The  investigation  was  reinstituted  in  June  1962,  when  the  Bureau 
learned  that  representatives  of  the  same  foreign  country  again  might 
be  influencing  congressional  deliberations  concerning  an  amendment 
to  the  sugar  quota  legislation. -^^°  Attorney  General  Kennedy  approved 
wiretaps  on  the  office  telephone  of  an  attorney  believed  to  be  an  agent 
of  the  foreign  country  and,  again,  on  the  residence  telephone  of  the 
Clerk  of  the  House  Agriculture  Committee.-*^^  The  latter  tap  continued 
for  one  month,  but  the  former  apparently  lasted  for  three  months.^^^ 

^^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Kennedy,  10/19/62. 

^^  Unaddressed  memorandum  from  "hwg"  (Director  Hoover's  secretary  was 
Helen  AV.  Gandy),  1/9/63.  This  memorandum  reads:  "Mr.  Belmont  called  to  say 
(Courtney)  Evans  spoke  to  tlie  Attorney  General  replacing  tlae  tech  on  [former 
FBI  agent]  again,  and  the  Attorney  General  said  by  all  means  do  this.  Mr.  Bel- 
mont has  instructed  New  York  to  do  so."  (Assistant  Director  Courtney  Evans  was 
tlie  FBI's  normal  liaison  with  Attorney  General  Kennedy.) 

^*  Memorandum  from  W.  R.  Wanall  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  12/22/66.  The  Sugar 
Lobby  investigation  is  also  discussed  at  footnote  233. 

^^  Memorandum  from  A.  H.  Belmont  to  Mr.  Parsons,  2/14/61. 

^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Kennedy,  2/14/61. 

^^^  Memoradum  from  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  2/16/61. 

'^^  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  2/16/61. 

^®  According  to  a  memorandum  of  a  meeting  between  Attorney  General  Ken- 
nedy and  Courtney  Evans,  Kennedy  stated  tliat  "now  tlie  law  was  passed  lie  did 
not  feel  there  was  justification  for  continuing  this  extensive  investigation." 
(Memorandum  from  C.  A.  Evans  to  Mr.  Parsons  4/14/61.)  The  investigation  did 
discover  possibly  unlawful  influence  was  being  exerted  by  representatives  of 
the  foreign  country  involved,  but  it  did  not  reveal  that  money  was  actually  being 
passed  to  any  Executive  or  congressional  official.  (Memorandum  from  Wannall 
to  Sullivan,  12/22/66.) 

="»  FBI  letterhead  memoranda,  6/15,  IS,  19/62. 

^^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  6/26/62. 

262  rpjjg  vviretap  on  the  House  Committee  Clerk  liad  "produced  no  information 
of  value."  While  there  is  no  indication  that  tlie  other  wiretaps,  including  five 
directed  at  foreign  targets,  produced  evidence  of  actual  payoffs,  they  did  reveal 
that  possibly  unlawful  influence  was  again  being  exerted  Ity  the  foreign  gov- 
ernment, and  internal  Bureau  permission  was  obtained  to  continue  tliem  for 
sixtv  days  bevond  the  initial  thirty-day  period.  (Memorandum  from  W.  R.  Wan- 
nall to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  8/16/62. ) 


These  wiretaps  in  1961  and  1962  were  arguably  related  to  "for- 
eign intelligence" — but  not  to  "subversive  activity"  unless  that  term 
is  interpreted  beyond  its  conventional  meaning."*^^  More  important, 
they  generated  information  which  was  potentially  useful  to  the  Ken- 
nedy administration  for  purely  political  purposes  relating  to  the 
legislative  process.-*^^ 

The  wiretap  authorized  by  Attorney  General  Kennedy  on  another 
high  executive  official  in  this  period  did  not  relate  to  political  con- 
siderations, but  to  concern  about  possible  disclosure  of  classified  in- 
formation to  a  foreign  government. ^*^^  There  is  no  indication  that  the 
wiretap  authorized  by  Attorney  General  Katzenbach  in  1965  on  the 
editoi-  of  an  anti-communist  newsletter,  was  related  in  any  way  to  the 
book  he  had  written  in  1964  alleging  personal  impropriety  by  Attor- 
ney General  Kennedy.^^" 

6.  DoTnestic  Covert  Action 

In  its  COINTELPRO  operation,  the  FBI  went  beyond  excessive 
information-gathei-ing  and  dissemination  to  the  use  of  secret  tactics 
designed  to  "disrupt"  and  "neutralize"  domestic  intelligence  targets. 
At  the  outset,  the  target  was  the  Communist  Party,  U.S.A.  But, 
consistent  with  the  pattern  revealed  in  other  domestic  intelligence  ac- 
tivities, the  program  widened  to  other  targets,  increasingly  concentrat- 
ing on  domestic  dissenters.  The  expansion  of  COINTELPRO  began  in 
the  Cold  War  period  and  accelerated  in  the  latter  part  of  the  1960s. 

a.  COINTELPRO:  Commuuht  Party 
The   COINTELPRO   program,   authorized   by   Director   Hoover 
againsit  the  Communist  Party  in  1956,  had  its  roots  in  two  lines  of 
Bureau  policy  going  back  to  the  1940s.  The  first  was  the  accepted  FBI 

*^A  White  House  "briefing  paper,"  prepared  in  February  1961,  stated,  "It  is 
thouglit  by  some  informed  observers  that  tlie  outcome  of  the  sugar  legislation 
which  comes  up  for  renewal  in  the  U.S.  Congress  in  March  1961  will  be  all- 
important  to  the  future  of  U.S./ (foreign  country)  relations."  (Memorandum 
from  Richard  M.  Bissell,  Jr.  to  McGeorge  Bundy,  2/17/61.)  Another  White  House 
"briefing  memorandum"  in  June  1962  stated,  "The  action  taken  by  the  House 
of  Representatives  in  passing  the  House  Agriculture  Committee  bill  (The  Cooley 
bill)  has  created  a  furor  in  the  (foreign  country)  .  .  ."  Officials  of  that  country 
said  that  the  legislation  "would  be  disa.strous"  to  its  "economy."  (Memorandum 
from  William  H.  Brubeck  to  McGeorge  Bundy  and  Myer  Feldman,  6/23/62.) 
(JFK  Library.) 

^*  See  Finding  on  Political  Abuse,  pp.  233,  234.  The  wiretapping  of  American 
citizens  in  these  instances  could  only  serve  "intelligence,"  rather  than  law  en- 
forcement i>urposes,  since  any  criminal  prosecution  (i.e.,  for  bribery)  would  have 
been  "tainted"  by  the  warrantless  wiretaps.  \,Codlon  v.  United  States,  185  F.  2d 
629  (1950).  191  F.  2d  749  (19.51).] 

^  The  circumstances  indicating  this  possibility  and  the  eventual  determina- 
tion that  the  allegation  was  unfounded  are  set  forth  in  a  memorandum  from 
Director  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Kennedy  in  IdM.  (Hoover  to  Kennedy, 
5/4/64  and  enclosure.  (John  F.  Kennedy  Library) ) 

^  The  FBI  requested  the  wiretap  on  the  editor  and  an  accompanying  tap  on 
a  Washington  attorney  in  contact  with  the  editor  of  its  concern  about 
pos.sible  "leaks"  of  information  about  FBI  loyalty-security  investigations  of 
government  officials.  Director  Hoover  advised  that  publication  of  this  "classi- 
fied information"  constituted  "a  danger  to  the  internal  security  of  the  United 
States."  CMemorandum  from  Hoover  to  Katzenbach,  4/19/65.)  However,  in  1964 
Director  Hoover  had  volunteered  to  Attorney  General  Kennedy  information 
about  the  publication  of  the  book  alleging  impropriety.  The  author  himself  had 
supplied  information  about  the  book  to  the  FBI.  (Memoranda  from  Hoover  to 
Attorney  General  Kennedy,  7/8/64  and  7/15/64.) 

68-786  O  -  76  -  6 


practice  of  attempting  to  disrupt  "subvei'sive"  organiza'tdons.  A  former 
head  of  the  FBI  Initelligonce  Division  has  testified : 

We  were  engaged  in  COINTELPRO  tactics,  to  divide,  con- 
fuse, weaken,  in  diverse  ways,  an  organization.  We  were 
engaged  in  that  when  I  entered  the  Bureau  in  1941.-®^ 

The  memorandum  recommending :the  institution  of  COINTELPRO 
stated  that  the  Bureau  was  already  seeking  to  "foster  factionalism" 
and  "cause  confusion"  within  the  Communist  Party. -®^ 

The  second  line  of  pre-existing  Bureau  policy  involved  propaganda 
to  discredit  the  Communist  Party  publicly.  For  example,  in  1946,  an 
earlier  head  of  the  FBI  Intelligence  Division  proposed  that  efforts  be 
made  to  release  "educational  material"  through  "available  channels" 
to  influence  "public  opinion."  The  "educational"  purpose  was  to  under- 
mine Communist  support  among  "labor  unions,"  "persons  prominent 
in  religious  circles,"  and  "the  Liberal  elements,"  and  to  show  "the  basi- 
cally Russian  nature  of  the  Communist  Party  in  this  country."  ^^^  By 
1956,  a  propaganda  effort  was  underway  to  bring  the  Party  and  its 
leaders  "into  disrepute  before  the  American  public."  ^^° 

The  evidence  indicates  that  the  FBI  did  not  believe  that  the  Com- 
munist Party,  when  the  COINTELPRO  program  was  formalized  in 
1956,  constituted  as  serious  a  threat  in  terms  of  actual  espionage  as  it 
had  in  the  1940s."^  Nevertiheless,  the  FBI  systematized  its  covert 
action  program  against  the  Communist  Party  in  part  because  the 
surfacing  of  informants  in  legal  proceedings  had  somewhat  limited 
the  Bureiau's  coverage  of  Party  activities 'and  also  to  take  advantage  of 
internal  conflicts  within  the  Party.-^^  Covert  "disruption"  was  also 
designed  to  make  sure  that  the  Party  would  not  reorganize  under  a 
new  label  and  thus  would  remain  an  easier  target  for  prosecution.^^^ 

^  Testimony  of  William  C.  Sullivan,  Assistant  Director  for  the  Domestic  In- 
telligence Division  (1961-1970)  and  Assistant  to  the  Director  (1970-1971), 
11/1/75,  pp.  42-^43. 

"^  Memorandum  from  A.  H.  Belmont  to  L.  V.  Boardman,  8/28/56. 

^  Memorandum  from  D.  M.  Ladd  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  2/27/46.  According  to 
this  memorandum  the  underlying  reason  for  such  Bureau  propaganda  was  to 
anticipate  and  counteract  the  "flood  of  propaganda  from  Leftist  and  so-called 
Liberal  sources"  which  would  "be  encountered  in  the  event  of  extensive  arrests 
of  Communists"  if  war  with  the  Soviet  Union  broke  out. 

"""  Belmont  to  Boardman,  8/28/56. 

^  A  Bureau  monograph  in  mid-1955  "measured"  the  Communist  Party  threat 
as : 

"Influence  over  the  masses,  ability  to  create  controversy  leading  to  confusion 
and  disunity,  penetration  of  specific  channels  in  American  life  where  public 
opinion  is  molded,  and  espionage  and  sabotage  potential."  [Emphasis  supplied.] 
(Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Dillon  Anderson,  Special  Assistant  to  the 
President,  7/29/55,  and  enclosed  FBI  monograph,  "The  Menace  of  Communism 
in  the  United  States  Today."  pp.  iv-v. ) 

The  FBI  official  who  served  as  Director  Hoover's  liaison  with  the  CIA  in  the 
1950s  stated  that  "the  Communist  Party  provided  a  pool  of  talent  for  the  Soviet 
[intelligence]  services"  in  the  "30s  and  into  the  40s."  During  that  period  the 
Soviets  recruited  agents  "from  the  Party"  to  penetrate  "the  LT.S.  Government" 
and  "scientific  circles."  He  added,  however,  that  "primarily  because  of  the  action 
and  counter-action  taken  by  the  FBI  during  the  late  40s,  the  Soviet  services 
changed  their  tactics  and  considerably  reduced  any  programs  or  projects  de- 
signed to  recruit  CP  members,  realizing  or  assuming  that  they  were  getting  heavy 
attention  from  the  Bureau."  (Testimony  of  former  FBI  liaison  with  CIA, 
9/22/75,  p.  32. ) 

"'  Belmont  to  Boardman,  8/28/65. 

"'Belmont  to  Boardman,  9/5/56;  memorandum  from  FBI  headquarters  to 
SAC,  New  York,  9/6/56. 


In  the  years  after  1956,  the  purpose  of  the  Communist  Party  COIN 
TELPRO  chano:ed  somewhat.  Supreme  Court  decisions  substantially 
curbed  criminal  prosecution  of  Communists.^' ^  Subsequently,  the  FBI 
"rationale"  for  COINTELPRO  was  that  it  had  become  "impossible 
to  prosecute  Communist  Party  members''  and  some  alternative  was 
needed  "to  contain  the  threat."  '^''^ 

h.  Early  Expansion  of  COINTELPRO 

From  19.56  until  1960,  the  COINTELPRO  program  was  primarily 
aimed  at  the  Communist  Party  organization.  But,  in  March  1960, 
participating  FBI  field  offices  were  directed  to  make  efforts  to  pre- 
vent Communist  "infiltration"  of  "legitimate  mass  organizations,  such 
as  Parent-Teacher  Associations,  civil  organizations,  and  racial  and 
religious  groups."  The  initial  technique  was  to  notify  a  leader  of  the 
organization,  often  by  "anonymous  communications,"  about  the  al- 
leged Connnunist  in  its  midst.^'*^  In  some  cases,  both  the  Communist 
and  the  "infiltrated"  organization  were  targeted. 

This  marked  the  beginning  of  the  progression  from  targeting  Com- 
munist Party  members,  to  those  allegedly  under  Communist  "influ- 
ence," to  persons  taking  positions  supported  by  the  Communists.  For 
example,  in  1964  targets  under  the  Communist  Party  COINTELPRO 
label  included  a  group  with  some  Communist  participants  urging  in- 
creased employment  of  minorities  ^'^  and  a  non-Communist  group  in 
opposition  to  the  House  Committee  on  L'^^n-American  Activities.^"^^ 

In  1961.  a  COINTELPRO  operation  was  initiated  against  the  So- 
cialist AVorkers  Party.  The  originating  memorandum  said  it  was  not 
a  "crash"  program;  and  it  was  never  given  high  priority .^'^  The 
SWP's  support  for  "such  causes  as  Castro's  Cuba  and  integration 
problems  arising  in  the  South"  were  noted  as  factors  in  the  FBI's 
decision  to  target  the  organization.  The  Bureau  also  relied  upon  its 
assessment  that  the  SAYP  was  "not  just  another  socialist  group  but 
follows  the  revolutionary  principles  of  Marx,  Lenin,  and  Engels  as 
interpreted  by  Leon  Trotsky"  and  that  it  was  "in  frequent  contact 
with  international  Trotsky ite  groups  stopping  short  of  open  and  direct 
contact  with  these  groups."  -*°  The  SWP  had  been  designated  as  "sub- 
versive" on  the  "Attorney  General's  list"  since  the  1940s.^®^ 

D.    Intelligence    and   Domestic    Dissent:    1964-1976 

1.  Main  Developments  of  the  1961^-1976  Peinod 

Beo-inning  in  the  mid-sixties,  the  United  States  experienced  a  period 
of  domestic  unrest  and  protest  unparalleled  in  this  century.  Violence 
erupted  in  the  poverty-stricken  urban  ghettos,  and  opposition  to 
American  inten'ention  in  Vietnam  produced  massive  demonstrations. 

'"  E.g.,  Yates  v.  Vnited,  States,  354  U.S.  298  (1957). 

"^  Deposition  of  Supervisor,  Internal  Security  Section,  FBI  Intelligence 
Division.  10/16/75.  pp.  10, 14. 

^^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  New  York  field  office,  3/31/60. 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  San  Francisco  field  office.  4/16/64. 

^*  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Cleveland  field  office,  11/6/64. 

"» Forty-five  actions  were  approved  by  FBI  Headquarters  iinder  the  SWP 
COINTELPRO  from  1961  until  it  was  discontinued  in  1969.  The  SWP  program 
was  then  subsumed  under  the  New  Left  COINTELPRO.  see  pp.  88-89. 

^Memorandum  from  Director.  FBI.  to  New  York  field  office,  10/12/61. 

-"Memorandum  from  the  Attorney  General  to  Heads  of  Departments  and 
Agencies,  4/29/53. 


A  small  minority  deliberately  used  violence  as  a  method  for  achieving 
small  minority  deliberately  used  violence  as  a  method  for  achieving 
political  goals — ranging  from  the  brutal  murder  and  intimidation  of 
black  Americans  in  parts  of  the  South  to  the  terrorist  bombing  of  of- 
fice buildings  and  government-supported  unversity  facilities.  But 
t?iree  Presidential  commissions  found  that  the  larger  outbreaks  of  vio- 
lence in  the  ghettos  and  on  the  campuses  were  most  often  spontaneous 
reactions  to  events  in  a  climate  of  social  tension  and  upheaval.^^^ 

During  this  period,  thousands  of  young  Americans  and  members  of 
racial  minorities  came  to  believe  in  civil  disobedience  as  a  vehicle  for 
protest  and  dissent. 

The  government  could  have  set  an  example  for  the  nation's  citizens 
and  prevented  spiraling  lawlessness  by  respecting  the  law  as  it  took 
steps  to  predict  or  prevent  violence.  But  agencies  of  the  United  States, 
sometimes  abetted  by  public  opinion  and  government  officials,  all  too 
often  disregarded  the  Constitutional  rights  of  American  in  their  con- 
duct of  domestic  intelligence  operations. 

The  most  significant  developments  in  domestic  intelligence  activity 
during  this  period  may  be  summarized  as  follows : 

a.  Scope  of  Domestic  Intelligence 

FBI  intelligence  reports  on  protest  activity  and  domestic  dissent 
accumulated  massive  information  on  lawful  activity  and  law-abiding 
citizens  for  vaguely  defined  "pure  intelligence"  and  "preventive 
intelligence"  purposes  related  only  remotely  or  not  at  all  to  law  enforce- 
ment or  the  prevention  of  violence.  The  FBI  exaggerated  the  extent 
of  domestic  Communist  influence,  and  COMINFIL  investigations 
improperly  included  groups  with  no  significant  connections  to 

The  FBI  expanded  its  use  of  informers  for  gathering  intelligence 
about  domestic  political  groups,  sometimes  upon  the  urging  of  the 
Attorney  General.  No  significant  limits  were  placed  on  the  kind  of 
political  or  personal  information  collected  by  informers,  recorded 
in  FBI  files,  and  often  disseminated  outside  the  Bureau. 

Army  intelligence  developed  programs  for  the  massive  collection  of 
information  about,  and  surveillance  of,  civilian  political  activity  in 
the  United  States  and  sometimes  abroad. 

In  contrast  to  previous  policies  for  centralizing  domestic  intelligence 
investigations,  the  Federal  Government  encouraged  local  police  to 
establish  intelligence  programs  both  for  their  own  use  and  to  feed 
into  the  Federal  intelligence-gathering  process.  This  greatly  expanded 
the  domestic  intelligence  apparatus,  making  it  harder  to  control. 

The  Justice  Department  established  a  unit  for  storing  and  evaluat- 
ing intelligence  about  civil  disorders  which  was  designed  to  use  non- 
intelligence  agencies  as  regular  sources  of  information,  which,  in  fact, 
drew  on  military  intelligence  as  well  as  the  FBI,  and  which  trans- 
mitted its  computer  list  of  citizens  to  the  CIA  and  the  IRS. 

&.  Domestic  Intelligence  Authority 
Intelligence  gathering  related  to  protest  activity   was  generally 
increased  in  response  to  vague  requests  by  Attorneys  General  or  other 

"'"Report  of  the  National  Advisory  Commission  on  Civil  Disorders  (1968),  ch. 
2 ;  Report  of  the  National  Commission  on  the  Causes  and  Prevention  of  Vio- 
lence (1969)  ;  Report  of  the  President's  Commission  on  Campus  Unrest  (1970). 


officials  outside  the  intelligence  agencies;  such  increases  were  some- 
times ratified  retroactively  by  such  officials. 

The  FBI's  exclusive  control  over  civilian  domestic  intelligence  at 
the  Federal  level  was  consolidated  by  formal  agreements  with  the 
Secret  Service  regarding  protective  intelligence  and  with  the  Bureau 
of  Alcohol,  Tobacco,  and  Firearms  regarding  terrorist  bombings. 

c.  Domestic  G overt  Action 

The  FBI  developed  new  covert  programs  for  disrupting  and  dis- 
crediting domestic  political  groups,  using  the  techniques  origi- 
nally applied  to  Communists.  The  most  intensive  domestic  intelli- 
gence investigations,  and  frequently  COINTELPRO  operations,  were 
targeted  against  persons  identified  not  as  criminals  or  criminal 
suspects,  but  as  "rabble  rousers,"  "agitators,"  "key  activists,"  or  "key 
black  extremists"  because  of  their  militant  rhetoric  and  group  leader- 
ship. The  Security  Index  was  revised  to  include  such  persons. 

Without  imposing  adequate  safeguards  against  misuse,  the  Internal 
Revenue  Service  passed  tax  information  to  the  FBI  and  CIA,  in 
some  cases  in  violation  of  tax  regulations.  At  the  urging  of  the  White 
House  and  a  Congressional  Committee,  the  IRS  established  a  program 
for  investigating  politically  active  groups  and  individuals,  which 
included  auditing  their  tax  returns. 

d.  Foreign  Intelligence  and  Domestic  Dissent 

A  1966  agreement  concerning  "coordination"  between  the  CIA  and 
the  FBI  permitted  CIA  involvement  in  internal  security  functions. 
Under  pressure  from  the  Johnson  and  Nixon  White  Houses  to  deter- 
mine whether  there  was  "foreign  influence"  behind  anti-war  protests 
and  black  militant  activity,  the  CIA  began  collecting  intelligence  about 
domestic  political  groups. 

The  CIA  also  conducted  operations  within  the  United  States  imder 
overly  broad  interpretations  of  its  responsibility  to  protect  the 
physical  security  of  its  facilities  and  to  protect  intelligence  "sources" 
and  "methods."  These  operations  included  surreptitious  entry,  recruit- 
ment of  informers  in  domestic  political  groups,  and  at  least  one 
instance  of  warrantless  wiretapping  approved  by  the  Attorney 

In  the  same  period,  the  National  Security  Agency  monitored  inter- 
national communications  of  Americans  involved  in  domestic  dissent 
despite  the  fact  that  its  mission  was  supposed  to  be  restricted  to 
collecting  foreign  intelligence  and  monitoring  only  foreign  communi- 

e.  Intrusive  Techniques 

As  domestic  intelligence  operations  broadened  and  focused  upon 
dissenters,  the  Government  increased  the  use  of  many  of  its  most 
intrusive  surveillance  techniques.  During  the  period  from  1964  to 
1972,  the  standards  and  procedures  for  warrantless  electronic  surveil- 
lance were  tightened,  but  actual  practice  was  sometimes  at  odds  with 
the  articulated  policy.  Also  during  these  years,  CIA  mail  opening 
expanded  at  the  Bureau's  request,  and  NSA  monitoring  expanded  to 
target  domestic  dissenters.  However,  the  FBI  cut  back  use  of  certain 
techniques  under  the  pressure  of  Congressional  probes  and  changing 
public  opinion. 


/.  Accountability  and  Control 

During  this  period  several  sustained  domestic  intelligence  efforts 
illustrated  deficiencies  in  the  system  for  controlling  intelligence  agen- 
cies and  holding  them  accountable  for  their  actions. 

In  1970,  presidential  approval  was  temporarily  granted  for  a  plan 
for  interagency  coordination  of  domestic  intelligence  activities  which 
included  several  illegal  programs.  Although  the  approval  was  sub- 
sequently revoked,  some  of  the  programs  were  implemented  separate- 
ly by  various  agencies. 

Throughout  the  administrations  of  Presidents  Johnson  and  Nixon, 
the  investigative  process  was  misused  as  a  means  of  acquiring  political 
intelligence  for  the  White  House.  At  the  same  time,  the  Justice  De- 
partment's Internal  Security  Division,  which  should  have  been  a  check 
against  the  excesses  of  domestic  intelligence,  generally  failed  to  re- 
strain such  activities.  For  example,  as  late  as  1971-1973,  the  FBI  con- 
tinued to  evade  the  will  of  Congress,  partly  with  Justice  Department 
approval,  by  maintaining  a  secret  "Administrative  Index"  of  suspects 
for  round-up  in  case  of  national  emergency. 

g.  Reconsideration  of  FBI  Authority 

Partly  in  reaction  to  congressional  inquiries,  the  FBI  in  the  early 
1970s  began  to  reconsider  the  extent  of  its  authority  to  conduct  do- 
mestic intelligence  activities  and  requested  clarification  from  the  At- 
torney General  and  an  executive  mandate  for  intelligence  investiga- 
tions of  "terrorists"  and  "revolutionaries". 

In  the  absence  of  any  new  standards  imposed  by  statute,  or  by  the 
Attorney  General,  the  FBI  continued  to  collect  domestic  intelligence 
under  sweeping  authorizations  issued  by  the  Justice  Department  in 
1974  for  investigations  of  "subversives,"  potential  civil  disturbances, 
and  "potential  crimes".  These  authorizations  were  explicitly  based  on 
broad  theories  of  inherent  executive  power.  Attorney  General  Edward 
H.  Levi  recently  promulgated  guidelines  which  represent  the  first 
significant  attempt  by  the  Justice  Department  to  set  standards  and 
limits  for  FBI  domestic  intelligence  investigations. 

2.  Scope  of  Domestic  Intelligence 

During  this  period  the  FBI  continued  the  same  broad  investigations 
of  the  lawful  activities  of  Americans  that  were  based  on  the  Bureau's 
vague  mandate  to  collect  intelligence  about  "subversion." 

In  addition,  the  Bureau — joined  by  CIA,  NSA,  and  military  in- 
telligence agencies — took  on  new  and  equally  broad  assii»:nments  to 
investigate  "racial  matters,"  the  "New  Left,"  "student  agitation,"  and 
alleged  "foreign  influence"  on  the  antiwar  movement. 

a.  Domestic  Protest  and  Dissent:  FBI 
"We  are  an  intelligence  agency,"  stated  a  policy  directive  to  all  FBI 
offices  in  1966,  "and  as  such  are  expected  to  know  what  is  going  on  or 
is  likely  to  happen."  ^^^  Written  in  the  context  of  demonstrations  over 
the  Vietnam  war  and  civil  rights,  this  order  illustrates  the  general 
attitude  among  Bureau  officials  and  high  administration  officials  who 
established  intelligence  policy  :  in  a  country  in  ferment,  the  FBI  could, 
and  should,  know  everything  that  might  someday  be  useful  in  some 
undefined  manner. 

SAC  letter  67-27,  5/3/66. 


(1)  Racial  Intelligence. — During  the  1960s,  the  FBI,  partly  on  its 
own  and  partly  in  response  to  outside  requests,  developed  sweeping 
programs  for  collecting  domestic  intelligence  concerning  racial  mat- 
ters. These  programs  had  roots  in  the  late  1950s.^^*  By  the  early  1960s, 
they  had  grown  to  the  point  that  the  Bureau  was  gathering  intelli- 
gence about  proposed  "civil  demonstrations"  and  the  related  activities 
of  "officials,  committees,  legislatures,  organizations,  etc.,"  in  the  "racial 
field."  2«5 

In  1965,  FBI  field  offices  were  directed  to  supply  "complete"  infor* 
mation  (including  "postponement  or  cancellation")  : 

regarding  planned  racial  activity,  such  as  demonstrations, 
rallies,  marches,  or  threatened  opposition  to  activity  of  this 

Field  offices  reported  their  full  "coverage"  of  "meetings"  and  "any 
other  pertinent  information  concerning  racial  activities."  -^^ 

In  late  1966,  field  offices  were  instructed  to  begin  preparing  semi- 
monthly summaries  of  "existing  racial  conditions  in  major  urban 
areas,"  relying  upon  "established  sources,"  and  "racial,"  "criminal," 
and  "security  informants."  These  reports  were  to  describe  the  "general 
programs"  of  all  "civil  rights  organizations"  and  "black  nationalist 
organizations,"  as  well  as  subversive  or  "hate-type"  groups.  The  infor- 
mation to  be  gathered  was  to  include :  "readily  available  personal  back- 
ground data"  on  "leadere  and  individuals  in  the  civil  rights  move- 
ment" and  other  "leaders  and  individuals  involved,"  as  well  as  any 
data  in  Bureau  files  on  "subversive  associations"  they  might  have;  the 
"objectives  sought  by  the  minority  community;"  the  community  reac- 
tion to  "minority  demands;"  and  "the  number,  character,  and  inten- 
sity of  the  techniques  used  by  the  minority  community,  such  as  pick- 
eting or  sit-in  demonstrations,  to  enforce  their  demands."  ^®^ 

Thus,  the  FBI  was  mobilized  to  used  all  its  available  resources  to 
discover  everything  it  could  about  "general  racial  conditions."  While 
the  stated  objective  was  to  arrive  at  an  "evaluation"  of  potential  for 
violence,  the  broad  sweep  of  the  directives  issued  to  the  field  resulted 
in  the  collection  and  filing  of  vast  amounts  of  information  unrelated 
to  violence. 

Some  programs  concerning  "general  racial  matters"  were  directed 
to  concentrate  on  groups  with  a  "propensity  for  violence  and  civil 
disorder."  ^^^  But  even  these  programs  were  so  overboard  in  their  appli- 
cation as  to  include  Dr.  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr.  and  his  non-violent 
Southern  Christian  Leadership  Conference  in  the  "radical  and  vio- 
lence-prone" "hate  group"  category.  The  stated  justification,  misup- 
ported  by  any  facts,  was  that  Dr.  King  might  "abandon  his  supposed 
'obedience'  to  'white,  liberal  doctrines'  (nonviolence)  and  embrace 
black  nationalism."  ^^^ 

Another  leading  civil  rights  group,  the  Congress  of  Racial  Equality 
(CORE),  was  investigated  under  the  "Racial  Matters"  Progi-am  be- 
cause the  Bureau  concluded  that  it  was  moving  "away  from  a  legiti- 

^*  See  p.  .50. 

=^  1964  FBI  Manual  Section  122,  p.  1. 

^  1965  FBI  Manual  Section  122,  pp.  6-8. 

^^FBI  Manual  Section  122.  revised  12/13/66,  pp.  S-9. 

"^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs,  8/25/67. 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs,  3/4/68. 


mate  civil  rights  organization"  and  "assuming  a  militant  black  nation- 
alist posture."  The  FBI  reached  this  conclusion  on  the  grounds  that 
"some  leaders  in  their  public  statements"  had  condoned  "violence  as 
a  means  of  attaining  Negro  rights."  The  investigation  was  intensified, 
even  though  it  was  recognized  there  was  no  information  that  its  mem- 
bers "advocate  violence"  or  "participate  in  actual  violence."  ^^° 

The  same  overbreadth  characterized  the  FBI's  collection  of  intelli- 
gence about  "white  militant  groups."  Among  the  groups  investigated 
were  those  "known  to  sponsor  demonstrations  against  integration  and 
against  the  busing  of  Negro  students  to  white  schools."  As  soon  as  a 
new  organization  of  this  sort  was  formed,  the  Bureau  used  its  inform- 
ants and  "established  sources"  to  determine  "the  aims  and  purposes  of 
the  organization,  its  leaders,  approximate  membership,"  and  other 
"background  data"  bearing  upon  "the  militancy"  of  the  group.'^"* 

(2)  "A'^^i'fi  Leff  IiiteUiqence. — The  FBI  collected  intelligence  under 
its  VIDEM  (Vietnam  Demonstration)  and  STAG  (Student  Agita- 
tion) Programs  on  "anti-Government  demonstrations  and  protest  ral- 
lies" which  the  Bureau  considered  "disruptive."  Field  offices  were 
warned  against  "incomplete  and  nonspecific  reporting"  which  neg- 
lected such  details  as  "number  of  protesters  present,  identities  of  orga- 
nizations, and  identities  of  speakers  and  leading:  activists."  ^^^ 

The  FBI  attempted  to  define  the  "New  Left,"  but  with  little  success. 
The  Bureau  agent  who  was  in  charge  of  New  Left  intelligence  conceded 
that : 

It  has  never  been  strictly  defined,  as  far  as  I  know It's  more 

or  less  an  attitude,  I  would  think. 

He  also  stated  that  the  definition  was  expanded  continually.^^^ 

Field  offices  were  told  that  the  New  Left  was  a  "subversive  force" 
dedicated  to  destroying  our  "traditional  values."  Although  it  had  "no 
definable  ideology,"  it  was  seen  as  bavins:  "strong  Marxist,  existential- 
ist, nihilist  and  anarchist  overtones."  Field  offices  were  instructed  that 
"proper  areas  of  inquiry"  regarding  the  subjects  of  "New  I^ft"  in- 
vestigations were  "public  statements,  the  writings  and  the  leadership 
activities"  which  might  establish  their  "rejection  of  law  and  order" 
and  thus  their  "potential"  threat  to  security.  Such  j^ersons  would  also 
be  placed  on  the  Security  Index  (for  detention  in  a  time  of  emergency) 
because  of  these  "anarchistic  tendencies,"  even  if  the  Bureau  could  not 
prove  "membership  in  a  subversive  organization."  ^^^ 

A  Bureau  memorandum  which  recommended  the  use  of  disruptive 
techniques  against  the  "New  Left"  paid  particular  attention  to  one  of 
its  "anarchistic  tendencies" : 

^  SAC  Tetter  68-16,  3/1 2/68,  Subject:  Congress  of  Racial  Equality. 

^»  SAC  Letter  68-25,  4/30/68. 

^SAC  Memorandum  1-72;  5/23/72,  Subject:  Reporting  of  Protest  Dem- 

^^  Supervisor,  FBI  Intelligence  Division,  deposition,  10/28/75,  pp.  7-8. 

"'^  SAC  Letter  68-21,  4/2/68.  This  directive  did  caution  that  "mere  dissent  and 
oppo«;ition  to  Governmental  policies  pursued  in  a  legal  constitutional  manner" 
was  "not  sufficient  to  warrant  inclusion  in  the  Security  Index."  Moreover,  "anti- 
Vietnam  or  peace  group  sentiments"  were  not,  in  themselves,  supposed  to  "justify 
an  investigation."  The  failure  of  this  admonition  to  achieve  its  stated  objective  is 
discussed  in  the  findings  on  "Overbreadth"  and  "Covert  Action  to  Disrupt." 


the  New  Left  has  on  many  occasions  viciously  and  scurrilously 
attacked  the  Director  and  the  Bureau  in  an  attempt  to  hamper 
our  investigations  and  drive  us  off  the  college  campuses.  ^^* 

Later  instructions  to  the  field  stated  that  the  term  "New  Left"  did 
not  refer  to  "a  definite  organization,"  but  to  a  "loosely-bound,  free- 
wheeling, college-oriented  movement"  and  to  the  "more  extreme  and 
militant  anti-Vietnam  war  and  antidraft  protest  organizations."  These 
instructions  directed  a  "comprehensive  study  of  the  whole  movement" 
for  the  purpose  of  assessing  its  "dangerousness."  Quarterly  reports 
were  to  be  prepared,  and  "subfiles"  opened,  under  the  following 
headings : 

Organizations  ("when  organized,  objectives,  locality  which 
active,  whether  part  of  a  national  organization") 

Membership  (and  "sympathizers" — use  "best  available  in- 
formants and  sources") 

Finances  (including  identity  of  "angels"  and  funds  from 
"foreign  sources") 

Communist  Influence 

Publications  ("describe  publications,  show  circulation  and 
principal  members  of  editorial  staff") 


Eeligion  ("support  of  movement  by  religious  groups  or  in- 

Race  Relations 

Political  Activities  ("details  relating  to  position  taken  on 
political  matters  including  efforts  to  influence  public  opin- 
ion, the  electorate  and  Government  bodies") 


Education  ("courses  given  together  with  any  educational  out- 
lines and  assigned  or  suggested  reading") 

Social  Reform  ("demonstrations  aimed  at  social  reform") 

Labor  ("all  activity  in  the  labor  field") 

Public  Appearances  of  Leaders  ("on  radio  and  television" 
and  "before  groups,  such  as  labor,  church  and  minority 
groups,"  including  "summary  of  subject  matter  discussed") 


Security  Measures 

International  Relations  ("travel  in  foreign  countries,"  "at- 
tacks on  United  States  foreign  policy") 

Mass  Media  ("indications  of  support  of  New  Left  by  mass 

Through  these  massive  reports,  the  FBI  hoped  to  discover  "the 
true  nature  of  the  New  Left  movement."  ^^^  Few  Bureau  progi^ams 
better  reflect  "pure  intelligence"  objectives  which  extended  far  beyond 
even  the  most  generous  definition  of  "preventive  intelligence."  ^^^ 

**  Memorandum  from  C.  D.  Brennan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan.  5/9/68. 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs.  10/28/68,  and  enclosure, 
Subject :  New  Left  Movement — Report  Outline. 

^  A  further  reason  for  collecting  information  on  the  New  Left  was  put  for- 
ward by  Assistant  Director  Brennan.  head  of  the  FBI  Intelligence  Division  in 
1970-1971.  Since  New  Left  "leaders''  had  "publicly  professed"  their  desire  to 
overthrow  tlie  Government,  the  Bureau  should  file  the  names  of  anyone  who 
"joined  in  membership"  for  "future  reference"  in  case  they  ever  "obtained 
a  sensitive  Government  position."  (Charles  Brennan  testimony,  9/25/75,  Hear- 
ings, Vol.  2,  pp.  116-117.) 


Apart  from  the  massive  general  reports  required  on  the  "New  Left," 
examples  of  particular  investigations  included :  a  stockholders  group 
planning  to  protest  their  corporation's  war  production  at  the  annual 
stockholders  meeting ;  ^'^  a  university  professor  who  was  "an  active 
participant  in  New  Left  demonstrations,"  publicly  surrendered  his 
draft  card,  and  had  been  arrested  in  antiwar  demonstrations,  but  not 
convicted ;  ^^^  and  two  university  instructors  who  helped  support  a 
student  "underground"  newspaper  whose  editorial  policy  was  de- 
scribed as  "left-of-center,  anti-establishment,  and  opposed  [to]  the 
University  administration."  ^^^ 

The  FBI  also  investigated  emerging  "New  Left"  groups,  such  as 
"Free  Universities"  attached  to  various  college  campuses,  to  determine 
whether  they  were  connected  "in  any  way"  with  "subvei*sive  groups." 
For  example,  when  an  article  appeared  in  a  newspaper  stating  that 
one  "Free  LTniversity"  was  being  formed  and  that  it  was  "anti-institu- 
tional," the  FBI  sought  to  determine  its  "origin,"  the  persons  respon- 
sible for  its  "formation,"  and  whether  they  had  "subversive  back- 
grounds." ^°°  The  resulting  report  described  in  detail  the  formation, 
curriculum  content,  and  associates  of  the  group.  It  was  disseminated 
to  military  intelligence  and  Secret  Service  field  offices  and  headquar- 
ters in  Washington  as  well  as  to  the  State  Department  and  the  Justice 

h.  FBI  InfoTTnants 

The  FBI  Manual  has  never  significantly  limited  informant  report- 
ing about  the  lawful  political  activities  or  personal  lives  of  American 
citizens,  except  for  prohibiting  reports  about  legal  defense  "plans  or 
strategy,"  "employer-employee  relationships"  connected  with  labor 
unions,  and  "legitimate  campus  activities."  ^°^  In  practice,  FBI  agents 
imposed  no  other  limitations  on  the  informants  they  handled  and,  on 
occasion,  disregarded  the  prohibitions  of  the  Manual.^°^ 

(1)  Infltration  of  the  Klan. — In  mid-1964.  Justice  Department  of- 
ficials became  increasingly  concerned  about  the  spread  of  Ku  Klux 
Klan  activity  and  violence  in  the  Deep  South.  Attorney  General  Ken- 
nedy advised  President  Johnson  that,  because  of  the  "unique  difficulty" 
presented  by  a  situation  where  "lawless  activities"  had  the  "sanction 
of  local  law  enforcement  agencies,"  the  FBI  should  apply  to  the  Klan 
the  same  "techniques"  used  previously  "in  the  infiltration  of  Commu- 
nist groups."  ^°* 

Former  Attorney  General  Katzenbach,  under  whose  tenure  FBI 
activities  against  the  Klan  expanded,  vigorously  defended  this  deci- 

^  Memorandum  from  Minneapolis  field  oflSce  to  FBI  Headquarters,  4/1/70. 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Pittsburgh  field  ofllce,  5/1/70. 

^  Memorandum  from  Mobile  field  office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  12/9/70. 

^Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Detroit  field  offices,  2/17/66. 

^Memorandum  from  Detroit  field  office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  4/15/66. 

^  FBI  Manual,  Section  107. 

***  See  Findings  on  use  of  informants  in  "Intrusive  Techniques,"  p.  192. 

'"*  Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Kennedy  to  the  President,  June  1964, 
quoted  in  Victor  Navasky.  Kennedy  Justice  (New  York:  Atheneum.  ]971),  pp. 
10.5-106.  The  President  asked  former  CIA  Director  Allen  Dulles  to  evaluate  the 
situation  in  Mississippi.  Upon  his  return  from  a  survey  of  the  state.  Dulles  en- 
dorsed the  Attorney  General's  recommendation  that  the  FBI  be  used  to  "control 
the  terrorist  activities."  ("Dulles  Requests  More  FBI  Agents  for  Mississippi," 
New  York  Times,  6/27/64. ) 


sion  as  necessary  to  "deter  violence"  by  sowing  "deep  mistrust  among 
Klan  members"  and  making  them  aware  that  they  were  "under  con- 
stant observation."  ^°^  The  FBI  Manual  did,  in  fact,  advise  Bureau 
agents  against  "wholesale  investigations"  of  persons  who  "mererly  at- 
tend meetings  on  a  regular  basis."  ^°^  But  FBI  intelligence  officials 
chafed  under  this  restriction  and  sought  expanded  informant  cover- 
age.^"" Subsequently,  the  Manual  was  revised  in  1967  to  require  the 
field  to  furnish  the  "details"  of  Klan  "rallies"  and  "demonstrations."  ^°^ 
By  1971,  the  Special  Agents  in  Charge  of  field  offices  had  the  discre- 
tion to  investigate  not  only  persons  with  "a  potential  for  violence," 
but  also  anyone  else  who  in  the  SAC's  "judgment"  was  an  "ex- 
tremist." 2°9 

(2)  ''''Listening  Posts'''  in  the  Black  Community. — Two  special  in- 
formant programs  illustrates  the  breadth  of  the  Bureau's  infiltration 
of  the  black  community.  In  1970,  the  FBI  used  its  "established  inform- 
ants" to  determine  the  "background,  aims  and  purposes,  leaders  and 
Key  Activists"  in  every  black  student  group  in  the  country,  "regard- 
less of  [the  group's]  past  or  present  involvement  in  disorders."  ^^°  Field 
offices  were  instructed  to  "target  informants"  against  these  groups  and 
to  "develop  such  coverage"  where  informants  were  not  already  avail- 

In  response  to  Attorney  General  Clark's  instructions  regarding 
civil  disorders  intelligence  in  1967,  the  Bureau  launched  a  "ghetto 
informant  program"  which  lasted  until  1973.^^^  The  number  of  ghetto 
informants  expanded  rapidly :  4,067  in  1969  and  7,402  by  1972.^^^  The 
original  concept  was  to  establish  a  "listening  post"  "*  by  recruiting  a 
person  "who  lives  or  works  in  a  ghetto  area"  to  provide  information  re- 
garding the  "racial  situation"  and  "racial  activities."  ^^^  Such  inform- 
ants could  include  "the  proj^rietor  of  a  candy  store  or  barber  shop." 
As  the  program  developed,  liowever,  ghetto  informants  were: 

utilized  to  attend  public  meetings  held  by  extremists,  to  iden- 
tify extremists  passing  through  or  locating  in  the  ghetto  area, 
to  identify  purveyors  of  extremist  literature  as  well  as  given 
specific  assignments  where  appropriate. ^^^ 

^Testimony  of  Nicholas  deB.  Katzenbach  12/3/75.  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  207. 

^1965  FBI  manual.   Section  122,  pp.  1-2. 

*"  FBI  Executives  conference  memorandum,  3/24/66,  Subject :  Establishment 
of  a  Special  Squad  Against  the  Ku  Klux  Klan. 

■^  1967  FBI  manual,  Section  122,  p.  2. 

'"'1971  FBI  manual,  Section  122,  p.  2. 

'^°  Memorandum  from  FBI  Executive  Conference  to  Mr.  Tolson,  10/29/70. 

'"  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs.  11/4/70. 

'^  Memorandum  from  G.  C.  Moore  to  William  O.  Sullivan,  10/11/67.  For  At- 
torney General  Clark's  order,  see  pp.  88-84. 

^"Memorandum  from  FBI  to  Select  Committee,  8/20/75  and  enclosures.) 

*"*  Memorandum  from  G.  C.  Moore  to  E.  S.  Miller,  9/8/72. 

"^Memorandum  from  G.  C.  Moore  to  C.  D.  Brennan.  10/27/70. 

^^  Memorandum  from  Moore  to  Miller,  9/27/72.  This  program  continued  until 
1973,  when  the  FBI  decided  to  rely  on  its  regular  extremist  informants  "for  'by- 
product' information  on  civil  unrest."  The  most  "productive"  ghetto  informants 
were  "converted"  into  regular  informants.  (FBI  Inspection  Division  Memoran- 
dum, 11/24/72;  Memorandum  from  Director  Clarence  M.  Kelley  to  all  SACs, 


Material  to  be  furnished  by  ghetto  informants  included  names  of 
"Afro- American  type  book  stores"  and  their  "owners,  operators  and 
clientele."  ^^^ 

(3)  Infltration  of  the  ''New  Leff\— The  FBI  used  its  "security" 
informant  program  to  report  extensively  on  all  activities  relating  to 
opposition  to  the  Vietnam  war.  Moreover,  informants  already  in  groups 
considered  "subversive"  by  the  FBI  also  reported  on  the  activities  of 
other  organizations  and  their  members,  if  the  latter  were  being  "infil- 
trated" by  the  former  groups.^^^ 

The  agent  who  handled  one  informant  in  an  antiwar  group  believed 
to  be  infiltrated  by  "subversive  groups  and/or  violent  elements" 
testified  that  the  informant  told  him  "everything  she  knew"  about 
the  chapter  she  joined.^^^  Summaries  of  her  reports  indicate  that  she 
!>reported  extensively  about  personal  matters  and  lawful  political 
activity.^^"  This  informant  estimated  that  her  reports  identified  as 
many  as  1,000  people  to  the  FBI  over  an  18-month  period.  The  vast 
majority  of  these  persons  were  members  of  peaceful  and  law-abiding 
groups,  including  the  United  Church  for  Christ,  which  were  engaged 
in  joint  social  welfare  projects  with  the  antiwar  group  which  the 
informant  had  infiltrated.^^^ 

Other  FBI  informants  reported,  for  example,  on  the  Women's 
Liberation  Movement,  identifying  its  members  at  several  mid-western 
universities  ^^^  and  reporting  statements  made  by  women  concerning 
their  personal  reasons  for  participating  in  the  women's  movement.^^^ 

Moreover,  as  in  the  case  of  informants  in  the  black  community, 
efforts  were  made  to  greatly  increase  the  number  of  informants  who 
could  report  on  antiwar  and  related  groups.  In  1969,  the  Justice 
Department  specifically  asked  the  FBI  to  use  not  only  "existing 
sources,"  but  also  "any  other  sources  you  may  be  able  to  develop"  to 
collect  information  about  "serious  campus  disorders."  ^-^  The  Bureau 
ordered  its  field  offices  in  1970  to  "make  every  effort"  to  obtain 
"informant  coverage"  of  every  "New  Left  commune."  ^^^  Later  that 
year,  after  Director  Hoover  lifted  restrictions  against  recruiting  18 
to  21-year-old  informants,  field  offices  were  urged  to  take  advantage  of 
this  "tremendous  opportunity"  to  expand  coverage  of  New  Left 
"collectives,  communes,  and  staffs  of  their  underground  news- 
papers." ^^® 

^"^  Philadelphia  Field  Office  memo  8/12/68,  re  Racial  Informant. 

'"'  FBI  Manual  Section  87. 

'"Testimony  of  FBI  Special  Agent,  11/20/75,  p.  55. 

'^  Staff  review  of  informant  report  summaries. 

^^  Marv  Jo  Cook,  testimony,  12/2/75.  Hearings,  Vol.  6.  pp.  Ill,  119-120. 

'"Report  of  Kansas  City  Field  Otfire,  10/20/70. 

'^Memorandum  from  New  York  Field  OtRce  to  FBI  Headquarters,  5/28/69. 

^*  Memorandum  from  Assistant  Attorney  General  J.  Walter  Yeagley  to 
J.  Edgar  Hooyer,  3/3/69.  This  memorandum  stated  that  the  Department  was 
considering  "conducting  a  grand  jury  inyestigation"  under  the  antiriot  act  and 
other  statutes. 

'^Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs,  4/17/70.  This  directive 
defined  a  "commune"  as  "a  group  of  individuals  residing  in  one  location  who 
practice  communal  living,  i.e.,  they  .share  income  and  adhere  to  the  philosophy 
of  a  Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-oriented  violent  revolution." 

^  SAC  Letter  70-48,  9/15/70.  Tliis  directive  implemented  one  provision  of  the 
"Huston  Plan,"  which  had  been  disapproved  as  a  domestic  intelligence  package. 
See  pp.  113, 116. 


c.  ArTTiy  Surveillance  of  Civilian  Political  Activity 

In  the  early  1960s,  after  several  commitments  of  troops  to  control 
racial  disturbances  and  enforce  court  orders  in  the  South,  Army 
intelligence  began  collecting  information  on  civilian  political  activity 
in  all  areas  -where  it  believed  civil  disorders  might  occur.  The  growth 
of  the  Army's  domestic  intelligence  program  typifies,  once  again,  the 
general  tendency  of  information-gathering  operations  to  continually 
broaden  their  coverage. 

Shortly  after  the  Army  v^as  called  upon  to  quell  civil  disorders  in 
Detroit  and  to  cope  with  an  antiwar  demonstration  at  the  Pentagon 
in  1967,  the  Army  Chief  of  Staff  approved  a  recommendation  for 
"continuous  counterintelligence  investigations"  to  obtain  informa- 
tion on  "subversive  personalities,  groups  or  organizations"  and  their 
"influence  on  urban  populations"  in  promoting  civil  disturbances.^^^ 
The  Army's  "collection  plan"  for  civil  disturbances  specifically 
targeted  as  "dissident  elements"  (without  further  definition)  the 
"civil  rights  movement"  and  the  "anti-Vietnam/anti-draft  move- 
ments." ^^^  As  revised  later.  Army  intelligence-gathering  extended 
beyond  "subversion"  and  "dissident  groups"  to  "prominent  persons" 
who  were  "friendly"  with  the  "leaders  of  the  disturbance"  or 
"sympathetic  with  their  plans."  ^^^ 

d.  Federal  Encouragement  of  Local  Police  Intelligence 

In  reaction  to  civil  disorders  in  1965-1966,  Attorney  General  Katz- 
enbach  turned  for  advice  to  the  newly  created  President's  Commis- 
sion on  Law  Enforcement  and  Administration  of  Justice.  After  hold- 
ing a  conference  with  police  and  National  Guard  officials,  the  Presi- 
dent's Commission  urged  police  not  to  react  with  too  much  force  to  dis- 
order "in  the  course  of  demonstrations,"  but  to  make  advance  plans  for 
"a  true  riot  situation."  This  meant  that  police  should  establish  "pro- 
cedures for  the  acquisition  and  channeling  of  intelligence"  for  the  use 
of  "those  who  need  it."  ^^°  Former  Assistant  Attorney  General  Vinson 
recalled  the  Justice  Department's  concern  that  local  police  did  not 
have  "any  useful  intelligence  or  knowledge  about  ghettos,  about  black 
communities  in  the  big  cities."  ^" 

During  the  winter  of  1967-1968,  the  Justice  Department  and  the 
National  Advisory  Commission  on  Civil  Disorders  reiterated  the  mes- 
sage that  local  police  should  establish  "intelligence  units"  to  gather 
and  disseminate  information  on  "potential"  civil  disorders.  These 
units  would  use  "undercover  police  personnel  and  informants"  and 
draw  on  "community  leaders,  agencies,  and  organizations  in  the 
ghetto."  ^^2  The  Commission  also  urged  that  these  local  units  be  linked 

^  See  Memorandum  for  the  Record  from  Milton  B.  Hyman,  OflSce  of  the 
General  Counsel,  to  the  Army  General  Counsel,  1/23/71,  in  Military  Surveil- 
lance, Hearings  before  the  Subcommittee  on  Constitutional  Rights,  Committee 
on  the  .Judiciary,  United  States  Senate,  93rd  Cong.,  2nd  Sess.    (1974),  p.  203. 

'^^  Federal  Data  Banks,  Computem  and  the  Rill  of  Rights.  Hearings  before 
the  Senate  Subcommittee  on  Constitutional  Rights   (1971),  at  pp.  1120-1121. 

"""^  Federal  Data  Banks.  Henrinss,  at  pp.  1123-113S. 

'*'  President's  Commission  on  Law  Enforcement  and  Administration  of  Justice, 
The  Challenge  of  Crime  in  a  Free  Society  (1967),  pp.  118-119. 

^  Fred  M.  Vinson  testimony.  1/27/76,  p.  32. 

"*  Report  of  the  National  Advisory  Commission  on  Civil  Disorders  (1968), 
p.  487  (Bantam  Books  ed.) . 


to  "a  national  center  and,  clearinghouse"  in  the  Justice  Department.^^' 
One  consequence  of  these  recommendations  was  that  the  FBI,  because 
of  regular  liaison  with  local  police,  became  a  channel  and  repository 
for  much  of  this  intelligence  data. 

Local  police  intelligence  provided  a  convenient  manner  for  the  FBI 
to  acquire  information  it  wanted  while  avoiding  criticism  for  using 
covert  techniques  such  as  developing  campus  informants.  For  exam- 
ple, in  1969,  Director  Hoover  decided  "that  additional  student  in- 
formants cannot  be  developed"  by  the  Bureau.^^*  Field  offices  were 
instructed,  however,  that  one  way  to  continue  obtaining  intelligence 
on  "situations  having  a  potential  for  violence"  was  to  develop  "in- 
depth  liaison  with  local  law  enforcement  agencies."  ^^^  Instead  of  re- 
cruiting student  informants  itself,  the  FBI  would  rely  on  local  police 
to  do  so. 

These  Federal  policies  contributed  to  the  proliferation  of  local  police 
intelligence  activities,  often  without  adequate  controls.  One  result  was 
that  still  more  persons  were  subjected  to  investigation  who  neither 
engaged  in  unlawful  activity,  nor  belonged  to  groups  which  might  be 
violent.  For  example,  a  recent  state  grand  jury  report  on  the 
Chicago  Police  Department's  "Security  Section"  described  its  "close 
working  relationship"  with  Federal  intelligence  agencies,  including 
Army  intelligence  and  the  FBI.  The  report  found  that  the  police 
intelligence  system  produced  "inherently  inaccurate  and  distortive 
data"  which  contaminated  Federal  intelligence.  One  police  officer 
testified  that  he  listed  "any  person"  who  attended  two  "public  meet- 
ings" of  a  group  as  a  "member."  This  conclusion  was  forwarded  "as  a 
fact^''  to  the  FBI.  Subsequently,  an  agency  seeking,  "background 
information"  on  that  person  from  the  Bureau  in  an  employment 
investigation  or  for  other  purposes  would  be  told  that  the  individual 
was  "a  member."  The  grand  jury  stated : 

Since  federal  agencies  accepted  data  from  the  Security  Sec- 
tion without  questioning  the  procedures  followed,  or  methods 
used  to  gain  information,  the  federal  government  cannot 
escape  responsibility  for  the  harm  done  to  untold  numbers  of 
innocent  persons.^^^ 

e.  The  Justice  Department'' s  Interdivision  Information  Unit 

Joseph  Califano,  President  Johnson's  assistant  in  1967,  testified 
that  the  Newark  and  Detroit  riots  were  a  "shattering  experience"  for 
Justice  Department  officials  and  "for  us  in  the  White  House."  They 
were  concerned  about  the  "lack  of  intelligence"  about  "black  groups." 
Consequently,  "there  was  a  desire  to  have  the  Justice  Department 
have  better  intelligence,  for  lack  of  a  better  term,  about  dissident 
groups."  This  desire  "precipitated  the  intelligence  unit"  established  by 
Attorney  General  Ramsey  Clark  in  late  1967.  According  to  Califano, 

'"  Report  of  the  National  Advisory  Commission,  p.  490. 

"*  SAC  Letter  69-16,  3/11/69.  This  order  "recognized  that  with  the  graduation 
of  senior  classes,  you  will  lose  a  certain  percentage  of  your  existing  student  in- 
formant coverage."  But  this  would  "not  be  accepted  as  an  excuse  for  not  devel- 
oping the  necessary  information." 

"'  SAC  Letter  69-44,  8/19/69. 

^  "Improper  Police  Intelligence  Activities."  A  Report  by  the  Extended  March 
1975  Cook  County  (Illinois)  Grand  Jury,  11/10/75. 


the  President  and  the  White  House  staff  were  insisting :  "There  must 
be  a  way  to  predict  violence.  We've  got  to  know  more  about  this."  ^^'^ 
In  September  1967  Attorney  General  Clark  asked  Assistant  Attorney 
General  John  Doar  to  review  the  Department's  "facilities"  for  civil 
disorders  intelligence.^^^  Doar  recommended  creating  a  Departmental 
"intelligence  unit"  to  analyze  FBI  information  about  "certain  persons 
and  groups"  (without  further  definition)  in  the  urban  ghettos.  He 
proposed  that  its  "scope  be  very  broad  initially"  so  as  to  "measure 
the  influence  of  particular  groups."  Doar  recommended  that,  in  addi- 
tion to  the  FBI,  agencies  who  should  "funnel  information"  to  the 
unit  should  include : 

Community  Relations  Service 

Poverty  Programs 

Neighborhood  Legal  Services  Program 

Labor  Department  Programs 

Intelligence  Unit  of  the  Internal  Revenue  Service 

Alcohol,  Tobacco,  and  Firearms  Division  of  the  Treasury 

Narcotics  Bureau  (then  in  the  Treasury  Department) 
Post  Office  Department 

Doar  recognized  that  the  Justice  Department's  Community  Relations 
Service,  designed  to  conciliate  racial  conflicts,  risked  losing  its  "credi- 
bility" and  thereby  its  ability  to  help  prevent  riots,  but  he  assured  the 
Attorney  General  that  the  "confidentiality"  of  its  information  could 
be  protected.^^® 

A  later  study  for  Attorney  General  Clark  added  the  following 
agencies  to  Doar's  list : 

President's  Commission  on  Civil  Disorders 

New  Jersey  Blue  Ribbon  Commission    (and  similar  state 

State  Department 
Army  Intelligence 
Office  of  Economic  Opportunity 
Department  of  Housing  and  Urban  Development  (surveys 

and  Model  City  applications) 
Central  Intelligence  Agency 
National  Security  Agency 

This  study  recommended  that  FBI  reports  relating  "to  the  civil  dis- 
turbance problem"  under  the  headings  "black  power,  new  left,  pacifist, 
pro-Red  Chinese,  anti- Vietnam  war,  pro-Castro,  etc."  be  used  to  de- 

^"  Joseph  Califano  testimony,  1/27/76,  pp.  6-9.  Califano  states  in  retro- 
spect that  the  attempt  to  "predict  violence"  was  "not  a  successful  undertaking," 
that  "advance  intelligence  about  dissident  groups"  would  not  "have  been  of 
much  help,"  and  that  what  is  "important"  is  "physical  intelligence  about 
geography,  hospitals,  power  stations,  etc."   (Califano,  1/27/76,  pp.  8.  11-12.) 

'^  In  1966,  the  Justice  Department  had  .started  an  informal  "Summer  Project," 
staffed  by  a  handful  of  law  students,  to  pull  together  data  from  the  newspapers, 
the  U.S.  Attorneys,  and  "some  Bureau  material"  for  the  purpose,  according  to 
former  Assistant  Attorney  General  Fred  Vinson,  Jr.,  of  finding  out  "what's  going 
on  in  the  black  community."   (Vinson,  1/27/76   p.  33.) 

*"  ^Memorandum  from  Assistant  Attorney  General  John  Doar  to  Attorney 
General  Clark,  9/27/67. 


velop  "a  master  index  on  individuals,  or  organizations,  and  by 
cities."  3^" 

Attorney  General  Clark  approved  these  recommendations  and  estab- 
lished the  Interdivision  Information  Unit  (IDIU)  for: 

reviewing  and  reducing  to  quickly  retrievable  form  all  infor- 
mation that  may  come  to  this  Department  relating  to  orga- 
nizations and  individuals  who  may  play  a  role,  whether 
purposefully  or  not,  either  in  instigating  or  spreading  civil 
disorders,  or  in  preventing  or  checking  them.^^^ 

In  early  instructions,  Clark  had  stated  that  the  Department  must 
"endeavor  to  increase"  such  intelligence  from  "external  sources."  ^^^ 

In  fact,  according  to  its  first  head,  the  IDIU  did  use  intelligence 
from  the  Army,  the  Internal  Revenue  Service,  and  "other  investiga- 
tive agencies."  Sometimes  IDIU  information  was  used  to  "determine 
whether  or  not"  the  Community  Relations  Service  should  "mediate" 
a  dispute.^*^  The  Unit  developed  a  computer  system  which  could  gen- 
erate lists  of  all  "members  or  ajfliliates"  of  an  organization,  their  loca- 
tion and  travel,  "all  incidents"  relating  to  "specific  issues",  and  "all 
information"  on  a  "planned  specific  demonstration"  ^^* 

By  1970,  the  IDIU  computer  was  receiving  over  42,000  "intelligence 
reports"  a  year  relating  to  "civil  disorders  and  campus  disturbances" 

the  FBI,  the  U.S.  Attorneys,  Bureau  of  Narcotics,  Alcohol, 
Tobacco,  and  Firearms  Division  of  the  Treasury  Department 
and  other  intelligence  gathering  bodies  within  the  Executive 

IDIU  computer  tapes,  which  included  10-12,000  entries  on  "numer- 
ous anti-war  activists  and  other  dissidents,"  were  provided  to  the 
Central  Intelligence  Agency  in  1970  by  Assistant  Attorney  General 
Jerris  Leonard,  then  the  Attorney  General's  Chief  of  Staff  for  Civil 
Disturbance  and  head  of  the  Civil  Rights  Division.^^^  This  list  of  per- 
sons was  sent  to  the  Internal  Revenue  Service  where  tlie  Special 
Services  staff  opened  intelligence  files  on  all  persons  and  organiza- 
tions listed.  Many  of  them  were  later  investigated  or  audited,  in  some 
cases  merely  because  they  were  on  the  list. 

In  1971,  the  IDIU  computer  included  data  on  such  prominent  per- 
sons as  Rev.  Ralph  Abernathy,  Caesar  Chavez,  Bosley  Crowther 

**"  Memorandum  from  Messrs.  Maroney,  Nugent,  McTieman,  and  Turner  to 
Attorney  General  Clark, 12/6/67. 

^^  Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Clark  to  Assistant  Attorneys  General 
John  Doar,  Fred  Vinson,  Jr.,  Roger  W.  Wilkins,  and  J.  Walter  Yeagley,  12/18/67. 

^"  Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Clark  to  Kevin  T.  Maroney,  et  al., 

^Testimony  of  Kevin  T.  Maroney  (Deputy  Assistant  Attorney  General), 
1/27/76,  pp.  ,59-60. 

***  Memorandum  from  Assistant  Attorney  General  Yeagley  to  Deputy  Attorney 
General  Richard  Kleindienst.  2/6/69. 

^^  Justice  Department  memorandum  from  James  T.  Devine,  9/10/70,  Subject : 
Interdivisional  Information  Unit. 

^'  Statement  of  Deputy  Attorney  General  Laurence  H.  Silberman,  Justice 
Depnrtment,  l/H/75.  According  to  thivS  statement,  a  .Tustice  Department  inquiry 
in  1975  concluded  that  Leonard  "initiated  the  transaction  by  requesting  the  CIA 
to  check  against  its  ovpn  sources  whether  any  of  the  Individuals  on  the  IDIU 
list  were  engaged  in  foreign  travel,  or  received  foreign  assistance  or  funding." 


(former  New  York  Times  film  critic),  Sammy  Davis,  Jr.,  Charles 
Evers,  James  Farmer,  Seymour  Hersh,  and  Coretta  King.  Organiza- 
tions on  which  information  had  been  collected  included  the  NAACP, 
the  Congress  of  Racial  Equality,  the  Institute  for  Policy  Studies, 
VISTA,  United  Farm  Workers  of  California,  and  the  Urban  League. 
Ordinary  private  citizens  who  were  not  nationally  prominent  were  also 
included.  One  was  described  as  "a  local  civil  rights  worker,"  another 
as  a  "student  at  Merritt  College  and  a  member  of  the  Peace  and 
Freedom  Party  as  of  mid-68,"  and  another  as  "a  bearded  militant  who 
writes  and  recites  poetry."  ^^^ 

Thus,  beginning  in  1967-1968,  the  IDIU  was  the  focal  point  of  a 
massive  domestic  intelligence  apparatus  established  in  response  to 
ghetto  riots,  militant  black  rhetoric,  antiwar  protest,  and  campus  dis- 
ruptions. Through  IDIU,  the  Attorney  General  received  the  benefits 
of  information  gathered  by  numerous  agencies,  without  setting  limits 
to  intelligence  reporting  or  providing  clear  policy  guidance.  Each 
component  of  the  structure — FBI,  Army,  IDIU,  local  police,  and 
many  others — set  its  own  generalized  standards  and  priorities,  result- 
ing in  excessive  collection  of  information  about  law  abiding  citizens. 

/.  COMINFIL  Investigations:  Overhreadth 

In  the  late  1960's  the  Communist  infiltration  or  association  concept 
continued  to  be  used  as  a  central  basis  for  FBI  intelligence  investiga- 
tions. In  many  cases  it  led  to  the  collection  of  information  on  the  same 
groups  and  persons  who  were  swept  into  the  investigative  net  by  tlie 
vague  missions  to  investigate  such  subjects  as  "racial  matters"  or  the 
"New  Left.  As  it  had  from  its  beginning,  the  COMINFIL  concept  pro- 
duced investigations  of  individuals  and  groups  who  were  not  Commu- 
nists. Dr.  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr.  is  the  best  known  example.^*^  But 
the  lawful  activities  of  many  other  persons  were  recorded  in  FBI  files 
and  reports  because  they  associated  in  some  wholly  innocent  way  with 
Communists,  a  term  which  the  Bureau  required  its  agents  to  "interpret 
in  its  broad  sense"  to  include  "splinter"  and  "offshoot"  groups.^*® 

During  this  period,  when  millions  of  Americans  demonstrated  in 
favor  of  civil  rights  and  against  the  Vietnam  war,  many  law-abiding 
citizens  and  groups  came  under  the  scrutiny  of  intelligence  agencies. 
Under  the  COMINFIL  program,  for  example,  the  Bureau  compiled 
extensive  reports  on  moderate  groups,  like  the  NAACP.^^° 

^^  Staff  Memorandum  for  the  Subcommittee  on  Constitutional  Rights,  United 
States  SenatP.  9/34/71. 

'*®  See  detailed  report  on  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr. 

^  FBI  Manual,  Section  87. 

^The  Bureau  frequently  disseminated  reports  on  the  NAACP  to  military 
intelligence  because  (as  one  report  put  it)  of  the  latter's  "interest  in  matters 
pertaining  to  infiltration  of  the  NAACP."  (Report  from  Los  Angeles  Field  Oflace 
to  FBI  Headquarters,  11/5/65.)  All  the  national  officers  and  board  members 
were  listed,  and  any  data  in  FBI  files  on  their  past  "association"  with  "sub- 
versives" was  included.  Most  of  this  information  went  back  to  the  1940's.  (Re- 
port from  New  York  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  4/15/65.)  When  changes 
occurred  in  the  NAACP's  leadership  and  board,  the  Bureau  once  again  went  back 
to  its  files  to  dredge  up  "subversive"  associations  from  the  1940's.  (Report 
from  New  York  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  4/15/66.)  Chapter  member- 
ship information  was  sometimes  obtained  by  "pretext  telephone  call  .  .  .  utilizing 
the  pretext  of  being  interested  in  joining  that  branch  of  the  NAACP."  (Memoran- 
dum from  Los  Angels  field  office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  11/5/65.)  As  discussed 
pre\iously,  the  Bureau  never  found  that  the  NAACP  had  abandoned  its  consistent 
anti-Communist  policy.  (Seep.  49). 


The  FBI  significantly  impaired  the  democratic  decisionmaking 
process  by  its  distorted  intelligence  reporting  on  Communist  infil- 
tration of  and  influence  on  domestic  political  activity.  In  private  re- 
marks to  Presidents  and  in  public  statements,  the  Bureau  seriously 
exaggerated  the  extent  of  Communist  influence  in  both  the  civil  rights 
and  anti- Vietnam  war  movements.^^^ 

S.  Domestic  Intelligence  Authority 

During  this  period  there  were  no  formal  executive  directives  out- 
lining the  scope  of  authority  for  domestic  intelligence  activity  of  the 
sort  previously  issued  by  Presidents  Koosevelt,  Truman,  Eisenhower, 
and  Kennedy.^^^  However,  there  was  a  series  of  high-level  requests 
for  intelligence  concerning  racial  and  urban  unrest  directed  to  the 
FBI  and  military  intelligence  agencies.  As  with  the  earlier  formal 
Presidential  directives  on  subjects  like  "subversion,"  these  instructions 
provided  no  significant  guidelines  or  controls. 

a.  FBI  Intelligence 
Since  the  early  1960s,  the  Justice  Department  had  been  making 
sporadic  requests  for  intelligence  related  to  specific  racial  events. 
For  example,  the  FBI  was  requested  to  provide  a  tape  recording  of 
a  speech  by  Governor-elect  George  Wallace  of  Alabama  in  late  1962  ^^^ 
and  for  "photographic  coverage"  of  a  civil  rights  demonstration  on 
the  100th  anniversary  of  the  Emancipation  Proclamation. ^^^  On  its 
own  initiative,  the  FBI  supplied  the  Civil  Rights  Division  with  in- 
formation from  a  "confidential  source"  about  plans  for  a  demonstra- 
tion in  Virginia,  including  background  data  on  its  "sponsor"  and 
the  intention  to  make  "a  test  case."  ^^^  The  Civil  Rights  Division  pre- 
pared regular  summaries  of  information  from  the  Bureau  on  "dem- 
onstrations and  other  racial  matters."  ^^® 

'^  See  examples  of  the  exaggeration  of  Communist  influence  set  forth  in  Find- 
ings on  Political  Abuse.  Such  distortion  continues  today.  An  FBI  Intelligence 
Division  Section  Chief  told  the  Committee  that  he  could  not  "think  of  very 
many"  major  demonstrations  in  this  country  in  recent  years  "that  were  not 
caused  by"  the  Communist  Party  or  the  Socialist  Workers  Party.  In  response 
to  questioning,  the  Section  Chief  listed  eleven  specific  demonstrations  since 
1965.  Three  of  these  turned  out  to  be  principally  SDS  demonstrations,  although 
some  individual  Communists  did  participate  in  one  of  them.  Six  others  were 
organized  by  the  National  (or  New)  Mobilization  Committee,  which  the  Section 
Chief  stated  was  subject  to  Communist  anS,  Socialist  Workers  Party  "influence." 
But  the  Section  Chief  admitted  that  the  mobilization  Committee  "probably" 
included  a  wide  spectrum  of  persons  from  all  elements  of  American  society. 
(R.  L.  Shackleford  deposition,  2/13/76,  pp.  3-8.)  The  FBI  has  not  alleged  that  the 
Socialist  Workers  Party  is  dominated  or  controlled  by  any  foreign  government. 
(Shackelford  testimony,  2/6/76,  pp.  73-77, 114.) 

"^  See  Sections  B-3  and  C-2. 

^Memorandum  from  Director,  FBI,  to  Assistant  Attorney  General  Burke 
Marshall  (Civil  Rights  Division),  12/4/62. 

"^Memorandum  from  St.  J.  B.  (St.  John  Barrett)  to  Burke  Marshall.  6/18/63. 

^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Robert  Kennedy, 

^  Memorandum  from  Carl  W.  Gabel  to  Burke  Marshall,  7/19/63.  This  memo- 
randum described  twenty-one  such  "racial  matters"  in  ten  states,  including  states 
outside  the  South  such  as  Ohio,  New  Jersey,  Pennsylvania.  Indiana,  and  Nevada. 
While  some  of  the  items  in  this  and  later  summaries  related  to  violent  or  poten- 
tially violent  protest  demonstrations,  they  went  beyond  those  limits  to  include 
entirely  peaceful  protest  activity  and  group  activities  (such  as  conferences,  meet- 
ings, leadership  changes)  unrelated  to  demonstrations.  (Memoranda  from  Gabel 
to  Marshall,  7/22  and  7/25,  8/2  and  8/22/63.)  The  Justice  Department's  role  in 
exijanding  FBI  intelligence  operations  against  the  Klan  is  discussed  at  pp. . 


A  formal  directive,  for  a  similar  purpose,  was  sent  by  Attorney  Gen- 
eral Kennedy  to  U.S.  Attorneys  throughout  the  South  in  May  1963.  It 
instructed  them  to  "make  a  survey"  to  ascertain  "any  places  where 
racial  demonstrations  are  expected  within  the  next  30  days''  and  to 
make  "assessments  of  situations"  in  their  districts.  The  FBI  was 
"asked  to  cooperate."  ^" 

President  Johnson  ordered  the  FBI  to  investigate  and  report  on  the 
origins  and  extent  of  the  first  small-scale  Northern  ghetto  disturbances 
in  the  summer  of  1964.^^^  After  the  FBI  submitted  a  report  on  the 
Watts  riot  in  Los  Angeles  in  1965,  however,  Attorney  General  Kat- 
zenbach  advised  President  Johnson  that  the  FBI  should  investigate 
"directly"  only  the  possible  "subversive  involvement."  Katzenbach  did 
not  believe  that  the  FBI  should  conduct  a  "general  investigation"  of 
"other  aspects  of  the  riot,"  since  these  were  local  law  enforcement  mat- 
ters. The  President  approved  this  "limited  investigation."  ^^^  None- 
theless, internal  Bureau  instructions  in  1965  and  1966  went  far  beyond 
this  limitation.^*^"  By  1967  new  Attorney  General  Ramsey  Clark  re- 
versed the  Department's  position  on  such  limitations. 

After  the  riots  in  Newark  and  Detroit  in  the  summer  of  1967, 
President  Johnson  announced  that  the  FBI  had  "standing  instruc- 
tions" for  investigating  riots  "to  search  for  evidence  on  conspiracy."  ^^^ 
This  announcement  accompanied  the  creation  of  a  National  Advisory 
Commission  on  Civil  Disorders  to  investigate  the  "basic  factors  and 
causes  leading  to"  the  riots,  including  the  "influence"  of  groups  or 
persons  "dedicated  to  the  incitement  or  encouragement  of  violence." 
The  President  ordered  the  FBI  in  particular  to  "provide  investigative 
information  and  assistance"  to  the  Com  mission.  ^^^  Director  Hoover 
also  agreed  to  investigate  "allegations  of  subversive  influence,  involve- 
ment of  out-of-state  influences,  and  the  like."  ^®^ 

In  September  1967,  Attorney  General  Clark  directed  the  FBI  to : 

use  the  maximum  resources,  investigative  and  intelligence, 
to  collect  and  report  all  facts  bearing  upon  the  question  as 
to  whether  there  has  been  or  is  a  scheme  or  conspiracy  by 
any  group  of  whatever  size,  effectiveness  or  affiliation,  to 
plan,  promote  or  aggravate  riot  activity.^®* 

M7  Telegram  from  Attorney  General  Kennedy  to  U.S.  Attorneys,  5/27/63. 

^  The  ba.sis  for  the  inquiry  was  explained  in  the  most  general  terms  :  "Keeping 
the  peace  in  this  country  is  essentially  the  responsibility  of  the  state  government. 
A^Tiere  lawless  conditions  arise,  however,  with  similar  characteristics  from  coast 
to  coast,  the  matter  is  one  of  national  concern  even  though  there  is  no  direct  con- 
nection between  the  events  and  even  though  no  Federal  law  is  violated."  (Text 
of  FBI  Report  on  Recent  Racial  Disturbances,  New  York  Times,  9/27/64.) 

^'  Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Katzenbach  to  President  Johnson, 

'"  See  p.  71. 

*^  Remarks  of  the  President,  7/29/67,  in  Report  of  the  National  Advisory  Com- 
mission on  Civil  Disorders  (1968),  p.  537  (Bantam  Books  ed.) 

'*'  IDxecutive  Order  113a5.  7/29/67. 

^^  Memorandum  from  C.  D.  DeLoach  to  Mr.  Tolson,  8/1/67,  Subject :  Director's 
Testimony  Before  National  Advisory  Commission  on  Civil  Disorders.  This  mem- 
orandum indicates  that,  following  this  testimony.  Director  Hoover  ordered  his 
subordinates  to  intensify  their  collection  of  intelligence  about  "vociferous  rabble- 
rousers."  The  creation  thereafter  of  a  "Rabble  Rouser  Index"  is  di-scussed  at 
pp.  89-90. 

^  Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Ramsey  Clark  to  .T.  Edgar  Hoover, 


Justice  Department  executives  were  generally  aware  of,  and  in  some 
cases  sought  to  widen,  the  scope  of  FBI  intelligence  collection.  In  a 
lengthy  review  of  Bureau  reports,  John  Doar,  Assistant  Attorney 
General  for  the  Civil  Rights  Division,  expressed  concern  that  the 
FBI  had  not  "taken  a  broad  spectrum  approach"  to  intelligence  col- 
lection, since  it  had  "focused  narrowly"  on  "traditional  subversive 
groups"  and  on  persons  suspected  of  "specific  statutory  violations."  ^^^ 
Reiterating  this  viewpoint.  Attorney  General  Clark  told  Director 
Hoover  that  "existing  intelligence  sources"  may  not  have  "regularly 
monitored"  possible  riot  conspirators  in  "the  urban  ghetto."  He  added 
that  it  was  necessary  to  conduct  a  "broad  investigation"  and  that 

sources  or  informants  in  black  nationalist  organizations, 
SNCC  (Student  Nonviolent  Coordinating  Committee)  and 
other  less  publicized  groups  should  be  developed  and  ex- 
panded to  determine  the  size  and  purpose  of  these  groups  and 
their  relationship  to  other  groups  .  .  .^^^ 

Clark  described  his  directive  as  setting  forth  "a  relatively  new  area  of 
investigation  and  intelligence  reporting  for  the  FBI."  ^^^ 

In  response  to  the  Attorney  GeneraPs  instructions,  the  FBI  advised 
its  field  offices  of  the  immediate  "need  to  develop  additional  penetra- 
tive coverage  of  the  militant  black  nationalist  groups  and  the  ghetto 
areas."  ^®^ 

h.  Army  Intelligence 
On  January  10,  1968,  a  meeting  took  place  at  the  White  House  for 
the  purpose  of  "advance  planning  for  summer  riots."  The  White 
House  memorandum  of  the  meeting  reported : 

Tlie  Army  has  undertaken  its  own  intelligence  study,  and  has 
rated  various  cities  as  to  their  riot  potential.  They  are  mak- 
ing contingency  plans  for  troop  movements,  landing  sites, 
facilities,  etc. 

It  added  that  the  Attorney  General  and  the  Deputy  Secretary  of  De- 
fense "had  agreed  to  coordinate  their  efforts."  ^^^  The  Army  General 
Counsel's  memorandum  of  the  meeting  stated  that  Attorney  General 
Clark  had  "stressed  the  difficulty  of  the  intelligence  effort,"  especially 
because  there  were  "only  40  Negro  FBI  agents"  out  of  the  total  of 
about  6,300.  Clark  added  that  "every  resource"  was  needed  in  "the  in- 
telligence collection  effort,"  although  he  asked  the  Defense  Depart- 
ment to  "screen"  its  "incoming  intelligence"  and  send  "only  key  items" 
to  the  Justice  Department.^^" 

^  Memorandum  from  Assistant  Attorney  General  John  Doar  to  Attorney  Gen- 
eral Olark,  9/27/67. 

^  Memorandum  from  Clark  to  Hoover,  9/14/67. 

**'  Clark  to  Hoover,  9/14/67.  The  Department's  establishment  of  a  special  imit 
for  intelligence  evaluation  is  discussed  at  pp.  115-116. 

^  SAC  Letter  67-72,  10/17/67.  The  scope  of  the  "ghetto  informant  program"  is 
described  at  pp.  7.5-76. 

^  Memorandum  from  Joseph  Calif^no  to  the  President,  1/18/68.  Those  present 
were  Attorney  General  Clark,  Deputy  Attorney  General  Warren  Christopher, 
Deputy  Secretary  of  Defense  Paul  Nitze,  Acting  Army  General  Counsel  Robert 
Jordan,  and  Presidential  assistants  Matthew  Nimetz  and  Califano. 

''"  Memorandum  from  the  Army  General  Counsel  to  the  Under  Secretary  of  the 
Army,  1/10/68.  Former  Army  Chief  of  St^ff  Hnrold  K.  Johnson  has  said  that 
there  were  several  other  meetings  at  the  White  House  where  the  Army  was  urged 
to  take  a  greater  role  in  the  civil  disturbance  collection  effort.  (Staff  summary  of 
Harold  K.  Johnson  interview,  11/18/75.) 


There  ig  no  record  that  at  this  or  any  other  similar  meeting  in  this 
period  the  Attorney  General  or  White  House  aides  explicitly  ordered 
the  Army  to  conduct  intelligence  investigations  using  infiltration  or 
other  covert  surveillance  techniques.  However,  even  though  Army  col- 
lection plans  which  were  circulated  to  the  Justice  Department  and  the 
FBI  ^"^  did  not  mention  techniques  of  collection,  the  information  they 
described  could  only  be  obtained  by  covert  surveillance.  No  objections 
were  voiced  by  the  Justice  Department. 

Not  until  1969  was  there  a  formal  civilian  decision  specifically 
authorizing  Army  surveillance  of  civilian  political  activity.  At  that 
time,  Attorney  General  John  Mitchell  and  Secretary  of  Defense  Mel- 
vin  Laird  considered  the  matter  and  over  the  objections  of  the  Army 
General  Counsel,  decided  that  the  Army  would  participate  in  intelli- 
gence collection  concerning  civil  disturbances.^"^  The  Army's  collec- 
tion plan  was  not  rescinded  until  June  1970,  after  public  exposure  and 
congressional  criticism.^^^ 

c.  FBI  Interagency  Agreements 
After  the  assassination  of  President  Kennedy,  the  FBI  and  the 
Secret  Service  negotiated  an  agreement  which  recognized  that  the 
Bureau  had  "general  jurisdiction''  over  "subversion."  The  term  was 
defined,  more  narrowly  than  it  had  been  defined  by  practice  in  the  past, 
as  "knowingly  or  wilfully  advocat[ing]"  overthrow  of  the  Government 
by  "force  or  violence"  or  by  "assassination."  Except  for  "temporary" 
action  to  "neutralize"  a  threat  to  the  President,  the  Secret  Service 
agreed  to  "conduct  no  investigation"  of  "members  of  subversive 
groups"  without  notifying  the  FBI.  The  Bureau,  on  the  other  hand, 
would  not  investigate  individuals  "solely"  to  determine  their  "danger- 
ousness  to  the  President."  ^^^ 

^^  Federal  Data  Banks,  Hearings,  at  p.  1137.  On  at  least  one  occasion,  Deputy 
Attorney  General  Warren  Christopher  thanked  an  Army  intelligence  oflScer  for 
spot  reports  and  daily  summaries.  (Letter  from  Deputy  Assistant  General  Chris- 
topher to  Ma.1.  Gen.  William  P.  Yarborough,  Assistant  Chief  of  Staff  for  Intelli- 
gence, 5/15/68.)  The  Justice  Department's  intelligence  analysis  unit  received 
"army  intelligence  reports"  during  1968  on  persons  and  groups  involved  in  "racial 
agitation."  (Memorandum  from  Assistant  Attorney  General  J.  Walter  Yeagley  to 
Deputy  Attorney  General  Richard  G.  Kleindienst.  2/6/69.) 

""^  Memorandum  from  Secretary  of  Defense  Melvin  Laird  and  Attorney  General 
John  N.  Mitchell  to  the  President,  4/1/69.  Subject :  Interdepartmental  Action 
Plan  for  Civil  Disturbances.  This  reflected  a  failure  on  the  part  of  the  Army 
General  Counsel  to  i)ersuade  the  Justice  Department  to  relieve  the  Army  of 
its  domestic  intelligence-gathering  role.  (Memorandum  from  Robert  E.  Jordan, 
Army  General  Counsel,  to  the  Secretary  of  the  Army,  Subject :  Review  of  Civil 
Disturbance  Intelligence  Historv,  in  Military  Surveillance,  Hearings,  p.  296.) 

^^  Letter  from  Robert  E.  Lynch,  Acting  Adjutant  General  of  the  Army,  to  sub- 
ordinate commands,  6/9/70,  Subject :  Collection,  Reporting,  Processing,  and  Stor- 
age of  Civil  Disturbance  Information. 

See  discussion  of  the  termination  of  this  program  in  Section  III  ["Ter- 
minations" Sub-finding  under  "Accountability  and  Control"]. 

^^*  Agreement  Between  the  Federal  Bureau  of  Investigation  and  the  Secret 
Service  Concerning  Presidential  Protection,  2/3/65.  The  FBI  was  to  report  to 
Secret  Service  information  about  "subversives,  ultra-rightists,  racists  and 
fascists"  who  expressed  "strong  or  violent  anti-U.S.  sentiment"  or  made  "state- 
ments indicating  a  propensity  for  violence  and  antipathy  toward  good  order  and 

These  reporting  standards  were  modified  in  1971  to  require  the  FBI  to  refer  to 
Secret  Service:  "Information  concerning  civil  disturbances,  anti-U.S.  demon- 
strations or  incidents  or  demonstrations  against  foreign  diplomatic  establish- 

( Continued) 


After  Congress  enacted  antibombing  legislation  in  1970,  the  FBI  was 
assigned  primary  responsibility  for  investigating  "offenses  perpetrated 
by  terrorist/revolutionary  groups."  ^'^  When  these  guidelines  were 
developed,  the  FBI  shifted  supervision  of  bombing  cases  from  its 
General  Investigative  Division  to  the  Intelligence  Division  because,  as 
one  official  put  it,  the  specific  criminal  investigations  were  "so  inter- 
related with  the  gathering  of  intelligence  in  the  racial  and  security 
fields  that  overlap  constantly  occurs."  ^^^ 

The  agreement  with  Secret  Service  and  the  "guidelines"  covering 
bombing  investigations  did  not  give  the  FBI  any  additional  domestic 
intelligence-gathering  authority.  They  simply  provided  for  dissemina- 
tion of  information  to  Secret  Service  and  allocated  criminal  investiga- 
tive jurisdiction  between  the  FBI  and  the  Alcohol,  Firearms,  and 
Tobacco  Division.  Nevertheless,  both  presupposed  that  the  FBI  had 
broad  authority  to  investigate  "subversives"  or  "terrorist /revolution- 
ary groups." 

4.  Domestic  Covert  Action 


The  FBI's  initiation  of  COINTELPRO  operations  against  the  Ku 
Klux  Klan,  "Black  Nationalists"  and  the  "New  Left"  brought  to  bear 
upon  a  wide  "range  of  domestic  groups  the  techniques  previously  devel- 
oped to  combat  Communists  and  persons  who  happened  to  associate 
with  them. 

The  start  of  each  program  coincided  with  significant  national  events. 
The  Klan  program  followed  the  widely-publicized  disappearance 
in  1964  of  three  civil  rights  workers  in  Mississippi.  The  "Black  Na- 
tionalist" program  was  authorized  in  the  aftermath  of  the  Newark 
and  Detroit  riots  in  1967.  The  "New  Left"  program  developed  shortly 
after  student  disruption  of  the  Columbia  University  campus  in  the 
spring  of  1968.  While  the  initiating  memoranda  approved  by  Director 
Hoover  do  not  refer  to  these  specific  events,  it  is  clear  that  they  shaped 
the  context  for  the  Bureau's  decisions. 

These  programs  were  not  directed  at  obtaining  evidence  for  use  in 
possible  criminal  prosecutions  arising  out  of  those  events.  Rather, 
they  were  secret  programs — "under  no  circumstances"  to  be  "made 
known  outside  the  Bureau"  "7 — which  used  unlawful  or  improper  acts 
to  "disrupt"  or  "neutralize"  the  activities  of  groups  and  individuals 
targeted  on  the  basis  of  imprecise  criteria. 

(1)  Klan  and  ''White  Hate''  COINTELPRO.— The  expansion  of 
Klan  investigations,  in  response  to  pressure  from  President  Johnson 
and  Attorney  General  Kennedy,"^  was  accompanied  by  an  internal 


ments ;"  and  "information  concerning  persons  who  may  be  considered  potentially 
dangerous  to  individuals  protected  by  the  [Secret  Service]  because  of  their  .  .  . 
participation  in  groups  engaging  in  activities  inimical  to  the  United  States." 
With  respect  to  organizations,  the  FBI  reported  information  on  their  "officers,''^ 
"size,"  "goals,"  "source  of  financial  support."  and  other  "background  data." 
(Agreement  Between  the  Federal  Bureau  of  Investigation  and  the  United  States 
Secret  Service  Concerning  Protective  Responsibilities,  11/26/71.) 

'^Investigative  Guidelines:  Title  XI,  Organized  Crime  Control  Act  of  1970, 
Regulation  of  Explosives. 

'''FBI  Inspection  Report,  Domestic  Intelligence  Division,  August  17-Septem- 
ber  9.  1971.  pp.  224-38. 

*"  Memoranda  from  FBI  headquarters  to  all  SAC's,  9/2/64 ;  8/25/67 ;  5/9/68. 

*""  See  pp.  74-75. 


Bureau  decision  to  shift  their  supervision  from  the  General  Investiga- 
tive Division  to  the  Domestic  Intelligence  Division.  One  internal  FBI 
argument  for  the  transfer  was  that  the  Intelligence  Division  was  "in 
a  position  to  launch  a  disruptive  counterintelligence  program"  against 
the  Klan  with  the  "same  effectiveness"  it  had  against  the  Communist 

Accordingly,  in  September  1964  a  directive  was  sent  to  seventeen 
field  offices  instituting  a  COINTELPRO  against  the  Klan  and  what 
the  FBI  considered  to  be  other  "White  Hate"  organizations  {e.g., 
American  Nazi  Party,  National  States  Rights  Party)  "to  expose,  dis- 
rupt, and  otherwise  neutralize"  the  activities  of  the  groups,  "their 
leaders,  and  adherents."  ^^° 

During  the  1964-1971  period,  when  the  program  was  in  operation, 
287  proposals  for  COINTELPRO  actions  against  Klan  and  "White 
Hate"  groups  were  authorized  by  FBI  headquarters.^^^  Covert  tech- 
niques used  in  this  COINTELPRO  included  creating  new  Klan  chap- 
ters to  be  controlled  by  Bureau  informants  and  sending  an  anonymous 
letter  designed  to  break  up  a  marriage.^®^ 

(2)  ''BUch  Nationalist''  COINTELPRO.— Th^  stated  strategy  of 
the  "Black  Nationalist"  COINTELPRO  instituted  in  1967  was  "to 
expose,  disrupt,  misdirect,  discredit,  or  otherwise  neutralize"  such 
groups  and  their  "leadership,  spokesmen,  members,  and  supporters." 
The  larger  objectives  were  to  "counter"  their  "propensity  for  violence" 
and  to  "frustrate"  their  efforts  to  "consolidate  their  forces"  or  to  "re- 
cruit new  or  youthful  adherents."  Field  offices  were  instructed  to 
exploit  conflicts  within  and  between  groups;  to  use  news  media  con- 
tacts to  ridicule  and  otherwise  discredit  groups;  to  prevent  "rabble 
rousers"  from  spreading  their  "philosophy"  publicly;  and  to  gather 
information  on  the  "unsavory  backgrounds"  of  group  leaders.^^^ 

In  March  1968,  the  program  was  expanded  from  twenty-three  to 
forty-one  field  offices  and  the  following  long-range  goals  were  set 
forth : 

(1)  prevent  the  "coalition  of  militant  black  nationalist 

(2)  prevent  the  rise  of  a  "messiah"  who  could  "unify  and 
electrify"  the  movement,  naming  specifically  Dr.  Martin  Lu- 
ther King,  Jr.,  Stokely  Carmichael,  and  Elijah  Muhammed ; 

(3)  prevent  violence  by  pinpointing  "potential  trouble- 
makers" and  "neutralizing"  them  before  they  "exercise  their 
potential  for  violence;" 

(4)  prevent  groups  and  leaders  from  gaining  "respectabil- 
ity" by  discrediting  them  to  the  "responsible"  Negro  com- 
munity, the  "responsible"  white  community,  "liberals"  with 

'^'Memorandum  from  J.  H.  Gale  to  Mr.  Tolson,  7/30/64  (Gale  was  Assistant 
Director  for  the  Inspection  Division). 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs,  9/2/64. 

^  The  average  of  40  "White  Hate"  actions  per  year  may  be  compared  to  an 
average  of  over  100  per  year  against  the  Communist  Party  from  1956-1971 
(totalling  1636).  Exhibit  11,  Hearings,  vol.  6,  p.  371. 

^^  These  techniques  and  those  used  against  the  other  target  groups  referred 
to  below  are  discussed  in  greater  detail  in  the  COINTELPRO  detailed  report 
and  in  the  Covert  Action  section  of  the  Findings.  Part  III.  p.  211. 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SAC«,  8/25/67. 


"vestiges  of  sympathy"  for  militant  black  nationalists,  and 
"Negro  radicals;"  and 
(5)  "prevent  these  groups  from  recruiting  young  people."  ^^* 

After  the  Black  Panther  Party  emerged  as  a  group  of  national  stat- 
ure, FBI  field  offices  were  instructed  to  develop  "imaginative  and 
hard-hitting  counterintelligence  measures  aimed  at  crippling  the 
BPP."  Particular  attention  was  to  be  given  to  aggravating  conflicts 
between  the  Black  Panthers  and  rival  groups  in  a  number  of  cities 
where  such  conflict  had  already  taken  on  the  character  of  "gang  war- 
fare with  attendant  threats  of  murder  and  reprisals."  ^^^ 

During  1967-1971,  FBI  headquarters  approved  379  proposals  for 
COINTELPRO  actions  against  "black  nationalists."  ^^'^  These  opera- 
tions utilized  dangerous  and  unsavory  techniques  which  gave  rise  to 
the  risk  of  death  and  often  disregarded  the  personal  rights  and  dignity 
of  the  victims. 

(3)  ''New  Left''  COINTELPRO.— The  most  vaguely  defined  and 
haphazard  of  the  COINT'ELPRO  operations  was  that  initiated 
against  the  "New  Left"  in  May  1968.  It  was  justified  to  the  FBI 
Director  by  his  subordinates  on  the  basis  of  the  following  considera- 
tions : 

The  nation  was  "undergoing  an  era  of  disruption  and 
violence"  which  was  "caused  to  a  large  extent"  by  individ- 
uals "generally  connected  with  the  New  Left." 

Some  of  these  "activists"  were  urging  "revolution"  and 
calling  for  "the  defeat  of  the  United  States  in  Vietnam." 

The  problem  was  not  just  that  they  committed  "unlawful 
acts,"  but  also  that  they  "falsely"  alleged  police  brutality, 
and  that  they  "scurrilously  attacked  the  Director  and  the  Bu- 
reau" in  an  attempt  to  "hamper"  FBI  investigations  and  to 
"drive  us  off  the  college  campuses."  ^^"^ 

Consequently,  the  COINTELPRO  was  intended  to  "expose,  disrupt, 
and  otherwise  neutralize"  the  activities  of  "this  group"  and  "persons 
connected  with  it."  ^^^  The  lack  of  any  clear  definition  of  "New  Left" 
meant,  as  an  FBI  supervisor  testified,  that  "legitimate"  and  nonvio- 
lent antiwar  groups  were  targeted  because  they  were  "lending  aid  and 
comfort"  to  more  disruptive  groups.^*® 

Further  directives  issued  soon  after  initiation  of  the  program 
urged  field  offices  to  "vigorously  and  enthusiastically"  explore  "every 
avenue  of  possible  embarrassment"  of  New  Left  adherents.  Agents 
were  instructed  to  gather  information  on  the  "immorality"  and  the 
"scurrilous  and  depraved"  behavior,  "habits,  and  living  conditions" 
of  the  members  of  targeted  frroups.^®"  This  messasre  was  reiterated 
several  months  later,  when  the  offices  were  taken  to  task  for  their 
failure  to  remain  alert  for  and  seek  specific  data  denicting  the  "de- 
praved nature  and  m6ral  looseness  of  the  New  Left"  and  to  "use  this 

'^*  IVTemorandum  from  FBT  Hefidqiiarters  to  all  SACs.  3/4/68. 

'*'  Mpmorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  SACs.  11/25/68. 

^The  average  was  over  90  per  year.  (Exhibit  11.  Hearings.  Vol.  6,  p.  371.) 

®^  Memorandum  from  C.  D.  Brennan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  5/9/68. 

'**  C.  D.  Brennan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  5/9/68. 

^  Supervisor,  FBI  Intelligence  Division,  10/28/75,  p.  39. 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs,  5/23/68. 


material  in  a  vigorous  and  enthusiastic  approach  to  neutralizing 
them."  3^^  ^ 

In  July  1968,  the  field  offices  were  further  prodded  by  FBI  head- 
quarters to  : 

(1)  prepare  leaflets  using  "the  most  obnoxious  pictures" 
of  New  Left  leaders  at  various  universities ; 

(2)  instigate  "personal  conflicts  or  animosities"  between 
New  Left  leaders  ; 

(3)  create  the  impression  that  leaders  are  "informants 
for  the  Bureau  or  other  law  enforcement  agencies"  (the 
"snitdi  jacket"  technique)  ; 

(4)  send  articles  from  student  or  "underground"  news- 
papers which  show  "depravity"  ("use  of  narcotics  and  free 
sex")  of  New  Left  leaders  to  university  officials,  donors, 
legislators,  and  parents ; 

(5)  have  members  arrested  on  marijuana  charges; 

(6)  send  anonymous  letters  about  a  student's  activities  to 
parents,  neighbors,  and  the  parents'  employers ; 

(7)  send  anonymous  letters  about  New  Left  faculty  mem- 
bers (signed  "A  Concerned  Alumni"  or  "A  Concerned  Tax- 
payer") to  university  officials,  legislators,  Board  of  Regents, 
and  the  press ; 

(8)  use  "cooperative  press  contacts;" 

(9)  exploit  the  "hostility"  between  New  Left  and  Old  Left 

(10)  disrupt  New  Left  coffee  houses  near  military  bases 
which  are  attempting  to  "influence  members  of  the  Armed 

(11)  use  cartoons,  photographs,  and  anonymous  letters  to 
"ridicule"  the  New  Left ; 

(12)  use  "misinformation"  to  "confuse  and  disrupt"  New 
Left  activities,  such  as  by  notifying  members  that  events 
have  been  cancelled. ^^- 

During  the  period  1968-1971,  291  COINTELPRO  actions 
against  the  "New  Left"  were  approved  by  headquarters.^^^  Particular 
emphasis  was  placed  upon  preventing  the  targeted  individuals  from 
public  speaking  or  teaching  and  providing  "misinformation"  to  con- 
fuse demonstrators. 

h.  FBI  Target  Lists 

The  FBI's  most  intensive  domestic  intelligence  investigations  and 
COINTELPRO  operations  were  directed  against  persons  identified, 
not  as  criminals  or  criminal  suspects,  but  in  vague  terms  such  as 
"rabble  rouser,"  "agitators,"  "key  activists,"  or  "key  black  extremists." 
The  Secruity  Index  for  detention  in  time  of  national  emergency  was 
revised  to  include  such  persons. 

(1)  ''RahhJe  Pi  ouser/ Agitator''  /7?rf6!.7'.— Following  a  meeting  with 
the  National  Advisory  Commission  on  Civil  Disorders  in  August  1967, 
Director  Hoover  ordered  his  subordinates  to  intensify  collection  of 

^"  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs.  10/9/68. 
=»'  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  RACs,  7/6/68. 
^"^Approximately  100  per  year  (Exhibit  11,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  371.). 


intelligence  about  "vociferous  rabble-rousers."  ^^^*  He  also  directed 
"that  an  index  be  compiled  of  racial  agitators  and  individuals  who 
haA^e  demonstrated  a  potential  for  fomenting  racial  discord."  ^^* 

The  already  vague  standards  for  the  Rabble  Rouser  Index  were 
broadened  in  November  1967  to  cover  persons  with  a  "propensity  for 
fomenting"  any  disorders  affecting  the  "internal  security" — as  opposed 
to  only  racial  disorders — and  to  include  persons  of  local  as  well  as 
national  interest.  This  included  "black  nationalists,  white  suprema- 
cists, Puerto  Rican  nationalists,  anti-Vietnam  demonstration  leaders, 
and  other  extremists."  A  rabble  rouser  was  defined  as : 

a  person  who  tries  to  arouse  people  to  violent  action  by 
appealing  to  their  emotions,  prejudices,  et  cetera;  a 

In  March  1968,  the  Rabble  Rouser  Index  was  renamed  the  Agitator 
Index  and  field  offices  were  ordered  to  obtain  a  photograph  of  each 
person  on  the  Index.  ^^'^  However,  expanding  the  size  of  the  Agitator 
Index  lessened  its  value  as  an  efficient  target  list  for  FBI  intelligence 
operations.  Consequently,  the  Bureau  developed  a  more  refined  tool 
for  this  purpose — the  Key  Activist  Program. 

(2)  '■''Key  Activisf  Program. — Instructions  were  issued  to  ten  ma- 
jor field  offices  in  January  1968  to  designate  certain  persons  as  "Key 
Activists,"  who  were  defined  as 

individuals  in  the  Students  for  Democratic  Society  and  the 
anti-Vietnam  war  groups  [who]  are  extremely  active  and 
most  vocal  in  their  statements  denouncing  the  United  States 
and  calling  for  civil  disobedience  and  other  forms  of  unlaw- 
ful and  disruptive  acts. 

There  Avas  to  be  an  "intensive  investigation"  of  each  Key  Activist, 
which  might  include  "high-level  informant  coverage"  and  "technical 
surveillances  and  physical  surveillances."  ^^^ 

The  "New  Left"  COINTELPRO  was  designed  in  part  to  "neutral- 
ize" the  Key  Activists,  who  were  "the  moving  forces  behind  the  New 
Left."  ^^®  One  of  the  first  techniques  employed  in  this  program  was  to 
obtain  the  Federal  income  tax  returns  of  Key  Activists  for  use  in 
disrupting  their  activities.^"^  In  October  1968,  the  Key  Activist  Pro- 
gram was  expanded  to  virtually  all  field  offices.  The  field  agents  were  in- 
structed to  recommend  additional  persons  for  the  program  and  to 
"consider  if  the  individual  was  rendered  ineffective  would  it  curtail 
[disruptive]  activity  in  his  area  of  influence."  AVhile  the  FBI  consid- 
ered Federal  prosecution  a  "logical"  result  of  these  investigations  and 
"the  best  deterrent,"  Key  Activists  were  not  selected  because  they  were 
suspected  of  committing  or  planning  to  commit  any  specific  Federal 
crime.  •*°" 

^"Memorandum  from  C.  D.  DeLoach  to  Mr.  Tolson.  8/1/67.  (At  the  meeting, 
a  Commission  member  had  asked  the  Bureau  to  "identify  the  numher  of  militant 
Negroes  and  whites.") 

^*  Memorandum  from  C.  D.  Brennan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  8/3/67 ;  SAC  Letter 
67-.56,  9/12/67. 

^  SAC  Letter  No.  67-70. 11/28/67. 

"^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs.  3/21/68. 

'"  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs,  1/30/68. 

^'  Memorandum  from  C.  D.  Brennan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  5/9/68. 

^  Memorandum  from  C.  D.  Brennan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan.  5/24/68. 

*°"  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs,  10/24/68. 


(3)  ^''Key  Black  Extremist'*''  Program. — A  "Key  Black  Extremist" 
target  list  for  concentrated  investigation  and  COINTELPRO  actions 
was  instituted  in  1970.  Key  Black  Extremists  were  defined  as 

leaders  or  activists  [avIio]  are  particularly  extreme,  agitative, 
anti-Government,  and  vocal  in  their  calls  for  terrorism  and 
violence.  ^"^ 

Field  offices  were  instructed  to  place  all  Key  Black  Extremists  in  the 
top  priority  category  of  the  Security  Index  and  in  the  Black  Nation- 
alist Photograph  Album,  which  concentrated  on  "militant  black 
nationalists''  who  traveled  extensively.  In  addition,  the  following  steps 
were  to  be  taken  : 

(1)  All  aspects  of  the  finances  of  a  KBE  must  be  deter- 
mined. Bank  accounts  must  be  monitored,  .  .  . 

(2)  Continuing  consideration  must  be  given  by  each  office 
to  develop  means  to  neutralize  the  effectiveness  of  each 
KBE.  ... 

(3)  Obtain  suitable  handwriting  specimens.  .  .  . 

(4)  Particular  efforts  should  be  made  to  obtain  records  of 
and/or  reliable  witnesses  to,  inflammatory  statements.  .  .  . 

(5)  Where  there  appears  to  be  a  possible  violation  of  a 
statute  within  the  investigative  jurisdiction  of  the  Bureau, 
[it  should  be]  vigorously  investigated.  .  .  . 

(6)  Particular  attention  must  be  paid  to  travel  by  a  KBE 
and  every  effort  made  to  determine  financial  arrangements 
for  such  travel.  .  .  . 

(7)  The  Federal  income  tax  returns  of  all  KBEs  must  be 
checked  annually.  .  .  . 

Reports  on  all  Key  Black  Extremists  were  to  be  submitted  every  ninety 
days,  and  the  field  was  urged  to  use  "initiative  and  imagination"  to 
achieve  "the  desired  results."  ■*°^  Once  again,  the  "result"  was  not 
limited  to  prosecution  of  crimes  and  the  targets  were  not  chosen 
because  they  were  suspected  of  committing  crimes. 

(4)  Security  Index. — The  Agitator  Index  was  abolished  in  1971 
because  "extremist  subjects"  were  "adequately  followed"  through  the 
Security  Index.*°*  In  contrast  to  the  other  indices,  the  Security  Index 
was  not  revieAved  by  the  FBI  alone.  It  had,  from  the  late  1940's,  been 
largely  a  joint  FBI- Justice  Department  program  based  on  the  De- 
partment's plans  for  emergency  detention.*"^  According  to  FBI  mem- 
oranda, moreover,  President  Johnson  was  directly  involved  in  the 
updating  of  emergency  detention  plans.*°^ 

After  a  large-scale  Alarch  on  the  Pentagon  against  the  Vietnam  War 
in  October  1967,  President  Johnson  ordered  a  comprehensive  review 
of  the  government's  emergency  plans.  Attorney  General  Clark  was 
appointed  chairman  of  a  committee  to  review  the  Presidential  Emer- 
gency Action  Documents  (PEADs)  prepared  under  the  Emergency 
Detention  Program.  One  result  of  this  review,  in  which  the  FBI  took 
part,  was  a  decision  to  bring  the  Detention  Program  into  line  with  the 

"'  Memorandum  from  G.  C.  Moore  to  C.  D.  Brennan,  12/22/70. 
"'Memorandum   from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all   SACs,   12/23/70. 
^  Memorandum  from  C.  D.  Brennan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  4/30/68. 
"^  See  pp.  .54-.55. 
"^  C.  D.  Brennan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  4/30/68. 


Emergency  Detention  Act  of  1950,  reversing  the  previous  decision  to 
"disregard"  as  "unworkable"  the  procedural  requirements  of  the  Act, 
which  were  tighter  than  the  standards  which  had  been  applied  by  FBI 
and  Justice.*"'^ 

The  Bureau  also  had  to  revise  its  criteria  for  inclusion  of  names  on 
the  Security  Index,  which  since  1950  had  disregarded  the  statutory 
standards.  However,  the  definition  chosen  of  a  "dangerous  individual" 
was  so  broad  that  it  enabled  the  Bureau  to  add  persons  not  previously 
eligible.  A  "dangerous  individual"  was  defined  as  a 

person  as  to  whom  there  is  reasonable  ground  to  believe  that 
such  person  probably  will  engage  in,  or  probably  will  conspire 
with  others  to  engage  in,  acts  of  espionage  and  sabotage, 
including  acts  of  terrorism  or  assassination  and  any  inter- 
ference loith  or  threat  to  the  survival  of  and  effective  opera- 
tion of  the  national,  state,  and  local  governments  and  of  the 
national  defense  effort.  [Emphasis  added.]  ^°^ 

The  emphasized  language  greatly  broadened  the  Security  Index  stand- 
ards. It  gave  FBI  intelligence  officials  the  opportunity  to  include  on 
the  Security  Index  "racial  militants",  "black  nationalists",  and  in- 
dividuals associated  with  the  "New  Left"  who  were  not  affiliated  with 
the  "basic  revolutionary  organizations"  as  the  Bureau  characterized 
the  Communist  Party,  which  had  previously  been  the  focus  of  the 
Security  Index.^°^  Once  again,  the  limitations  which  a  statute  was 
intended  to  impose  were  effectively  circumvented  by  the  use  of  elastic 
language  in  a  Presidential  directive. 

Moreover,  the  Bureau  adopted  a  new  "priority"  ranking  for  appre- 
hension in  case  of  an  emergency.  Top  priority  was  now  given  not  only 
to  leaders  of  "basic  subvereive  organizations,"  but  also  to  "leaders  of 
anarchistic  groups."  ^^"  It  was  said  to  be  the  "anarchistic  tendencies" 
of  New  Left  and  racial  militants  that  made  them  a  "threat  to  the 
internal  security."  ^^^ 

Initially,  the  justice  Department  approved  informally  these  changes 
in  the  criteria  for  "the  persons  listed  for  apprehension."  ^^^  After 
several  months  of  "study,"  the  Justice  Department's  Office  of  Legal 
Counsel  formally  approved  the  new  Security  Index  criteria.  This  was 
the  first  time  since  1955  that  the  Department  had  fully  considered 
the  matter,  and  the  previous  policy  of  disregarding  the  procedures 
of  the  Emergency  Detention  Act  of  1950  was  formally  abandoned. 
If  an  emergency  occurred,  the  Attorney  General  would  abide  by  "the 
requirement  that  any  person  actually  detained  will  be  entitled  to  a 
hearing  at  which  time  the  evidence  will  have  to  satisfy  the  standards 
of  [the  Actl."  However,  the  Office  of  Lesral  Counsel  declared  that  the 
Security  Index  criteria  themselves  could  be — as  they  were — less  precise 
than  those  of  the  Act  because  of  the  "needed  flexibility  and  discretion 
at  the  operating  level  in  order  to  carry  on  an  effective  surveillance 

^  See  pn.  54-55  and  Report  on  FBI  Investigations. 

"^  Presidential  Emergency  Action  Document  6,  as  quoted  in  Brennan  to  Sulli- 
van. 4/30/68. 

*•*  Memorandum  from  C.  D.  Brennan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan.  4/30/68. 

""  C.  D.  Brennan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  4/30/68. 

***  C.  D.  Brennan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  4/30/68. 

*"  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  J.  Walter  Yeagley,  5/1/68 ;  Yeagley 
to  Hoover,  6/17/68. 


program."  *^^  Thus,  while  the  plan  to  ignore  Congress'  procedural 
limitations  was  abandoned,  Congress'  substantive  standards  were  dis- 
regarded as  insufficiently  "flexible." 

c.  Internal  Revenue  Service  Programs 

(1)  Misuse  hy  FBI  and  01  A. — IRS  information  was  used  as  an 
instrument  of  domestic  intelligence  mainly  by  the  FBI.  For  example, 
in  1965,  the  Bureau  obtained  the  tax  returns  of  Ku  Klux  Klan  mem- 
bers in  order  to  develop  "discrediting  or  embarrassing"  information 
as  part  of  the  Bureau's  COINTELPRO  against  the  Klan."* 
The  procedure  by  which  FBI  obtained  access  to  tax  returns  and  related 
information  held  by  IRS  was  deemed  "illegal"  when  it  was  discovered 
by  the  Chief  of  the  IRS  Disclosure  Branch  in  1968."^  The  FBI  had 
not  followed  the  procedures  for  obtaining  returns  which  required 
written  application  to  the  IRS  Disclosure  Branch.  Instead  the  Bureau 
had  arranged  to  obtain  the  returns  and  information  surreptitiously 
through  contacts  inside  the  IRS  Intelligence  Division.  The  procedure 
for  FBI  access  was  regularized  by  the  IRS  after  1968 :  a  formal  request 
on  behalf  of  the  Bureau  was  made  to  the  IRS  Disclosure  Branch,  by 
the  Internal  Security  Division  of  the  Justice  Department. 

During  this  same  period,  the  CIA  was  obtaining  tax  returns  in  a 
manner  similar  to  the  FBI,  although  in  much  smaller  numbers.  Yet 
even  after  procedures  were  changed  for  the  FBI's  access  to  tax  in- 
formation in  1968,  the  IRS  did  not  re-examine  the  CIA's  practices.*^® 
Therefore,  CIA  continued  to  receive  tax  return  information  without 
filing  requests  as  required  by  the  regulations. 

Between  1968  and  1974,  either  directly  or  through  the  Internal 
Security  Division  of  the  Justice  Department,  the  FBI  requested  at 
least  130  tax  returns  for  domestic  intelligence  purposes.  This  included 
the  returns  of  46  "New  Left  activists"  and  74  "black  extremists,"  *^^  as 
part  of  Bureau  COINTELPRO  operations  to  "neutralize"  these  indi- 
viduals.*^^ These  requests  were  not  predicated  upon  any  specific  in- 
formation suggesting  delinquency  in  fulfilling  tax  obligations. 

Even  after  a  formal  request  was  required  before  supplying  the  FBI 
with  tax  returns,  the  IRS  accepted  the  Justice  Department's  undocu- 

"'  Among  the  criteria  specifically  approved  by  the  Justice  Department  which 
went  beyond  the  statutory  standard  of  reasonable  likelihood  of  espionage  and 
sabotage  were  the  expanded  references  to  persons  who  have  "anarchistic  or 
revolutionary  beliefs"  and  are  "likely  to  seize  upon  the  opportunity  presented 
by  a  national  emergency"  to  commit  acts  which  constitute  "interference  with" 
the  "effective  operation  of  the  national,  state  and  local  governments  and  of  the 
defense  effort."  (Assistant  Attorney  General  Frank  M.  Wozencraft,  Office  of 
Legal  (Counsel,  to  Assistant  Attorney  General  J.  Walter  Yeagley,  Internal 
Security  Division,  9/9/68.)  The  standards  as  approved  were  transmitted  to  the 
FBI,  and  its  Manual  was  revised  accordingly.  (Yeagley  to  Hoover,  9/19/68; 
Hoover  to  Yeagley,  9/26/68;  FBI  Manual,  Section  87,  p.  45,  revised  10/14/68.) 
The  FBI  still  maintained  its  Reserve  Index,  unbeknownst  to  the  Department. 

*"  One  of  the  express  purposes  was  to  use  tax  information  to  "expose"  the  Klan 
membens  "within  the  Klan  organization  [or]  publicly  by  showing  income  beyond 
their  means."  (Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  W.  C.  Sullivan, 
5/10/65. )  Disclosure  of  tax  information  "publicly"  or  "within  the  Klan  organiza- 
tion" is  prohibited  by  statute. 

*"  Memorandum  from  D.  O.  Virdin  to  H.  E.  Snyder,  5/2/68.  Subject :  Inspection 
of  Returns  by  FBI. 

*"'  Donald  O.  Virdin  testimony,  9/16/75,  pp.  69-73. 

"■^  Staff  Memorandum :  Review  of  Materials  in  FBI  Administrative  File  on 
"Income  Tax  Returns  Requested." 

*"  Memorandum  from  C.  D.  Brennan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  12/6/68. 


mented  assertions  that  tax  information  was  "necessary"  in  connection 
with  an  "official  matter"  involving  "internal  security."  ^^^  Yet  in  mak- 
ing such  assertions,  the  Justice  Department's  Internal  Security  Divi- 
sion relied  entirely  on  the  Bureau's  judgment.  Thus,  while  the  IRS  is 
required  by  the  statute  to  release  tax  information  only  where  neces- 
sary, it  in  effect  delegated  its  responsibility  to  the  Internal  Security 
Division  which  in  turn  delegated  the  decision  to  the  FBI.  Although 
most  FBI  requests  for  tax  information  were  for  targets  of  various 
COINTELPRO  operations,  the  Justice  Department  official  who  made 
the  requests  on  behalf  of  the  Bureau  said  he  was  never  informed  of  the 
existence  of  COINTELPRO.^='° 

Even  after  1968,  the  Bureau  sometimes  used  tax  information  in 
improper  or  unlawful  ways.  For  example,  the  Bureau  attempted  to 
use  such  information  to  cause  IRS  to  audit  a  mid- western  college  pro- 
fessor associated  with  "new  left"  activities  at  the  time  he  was  planning 
to  attend  the  1968  Democratic  Party  National  Convention  in  Chicago. 
The  FBI  agent  in  charge  of  the  operation  against  the  professor  ex- 
plained its  purpose  in  a  memorandum : 

if  IRS  contact  with  [the  Professor]  can  be  arranged  within 
the  next  two  weeks  their  demands  upon  him  may  be  a  source 
of  distraction  during  the  critical  period  when  he  is  engaged 
in  meetings  and  plans  for  disruption  of  the  Democratic  Na- 
tional Convention.  Any  drain  upon  the  time  and  concentra- 
tion which  [the  Professor],  a  leading  figure  in  Demcon 
planning,  can  bring  to  bear  upon  this  activity  can  only  accrue 
to  the  benefit  of  the  Government  and  general  public.'*^^ 

Among  the  tax  returns  which  the  CIA  obtained  informally  from 
IRS  in  an  informal  and  illegal  manner  were  those  of  the  author  of  a 
book,  the  publication  of  which  the  CIA  sought  to  prevent,*^^  and  of 
Ramparts  magazine  which  had  exposed  the  CIA's  covert  use  of  the 
National  Student  Association.*^^  In  the  latter  case,  CIA  memoranda 
indicate  that  its  officials  were  unwilling  to  risk  a  formal  request  for 
tax  information  without  first  learning  through  informal  disclosure 
whether  the  tax  returns  contained  any  information  that  would  be 
helpful  in  their  effort  to  deter  this  "attack  on  the  CIA"  and  on  "the 
administration  in  general."  *^* 

(2)  The  Special  Serince  Staff:  IRS  Targeting  of  Ideological 
Groups. — In  1969,  the  IRS  established  a  Special  Service  Staff  to 
gather  intelligence  on  a  category  of  taxpayers  defined  essentially  by 
political  criteria.  The  SSS  attempted  to  develop  tax  cases  against  the 
targeted  taxpayers  and  initiated  tax  fraud  investigations  against  some 
who  would  otherwise  never  have  been  investigated. 

The  SSS  originated  as  a  result  of  pressure  from  the  permanent  Sub- 
committee on  Investigations  of  the  Senate  Committee  on  Government 
Operations  ^^^  and  from  President  Nixon,  acting  through  Wliite  House 

"'  Leon  Green  deposition,  9/12/75,  pp.  6-8. 

^°  Statement  of  .T.  W.  Yeagley  to  Senate  Select  Committee,  September  197.5. 

*^  Memorandum  from  Midwest  City  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters.  8/1/68. 

*^  CIA  memorandum.  Subject :  BUTANE— Victor  Marchetti. 

*"  CIA  memorandum.  Subject :  IRS  Briefing  on  Ramparts,  2/2/67. 

"*  CIA  memorandum.  Subject :  IRS  Briefing  on  Ramparts,  2/2/67. 

*^  Leon  C.  Green  testimony.  9/12/75,  p.  36. 


assistants  Tom  Charles  Huston  and  Dr.  Arthur  Bums.*^^  According 
to  the  IRS  Commissioner's  memorandum,  Dr.  Burns  expressed  to  him 
the  President's  concern 

over  the  fact  that  tax-exempt  funds  may  be  supporting  activ- 
ist groups  engaged  in  stimulating  riots  both  on  the  campus 
and  within  our  inner  cities.*^'' 

The  administration  did  not  supply  any  facts  to  support  the  assertion 
that  such  groups  were  violating  tax  laws. 

After  the  SSS  was  established,  the  FBI  and  the  Justice  Depart- 
ment's Interdivisional  Information  Unit  (IDIU)  became  its  largest 
sources  of  names.  An  Assistant  IRS  Commissioner  requested  the  FBI 
to  provide  information  regarding  "various  organizations  of  predomi- 
nantly dissident  or  extremist  nature  and/or  people  prominently  identi- 
fied within  those  organizations."  *-^  The  FBI  agreed,  believing,  as 
one  intelligence  official  put  it,  that  SSS  would  "deal  a  blow"  to  "dis- 
sident elements."  ^^^ 

Among  the  material  received  bv  SSS  from  the  FBI  was  a  list  of 
2,800  organizations  categorized  as  "Old  Left."  "New  Left,"  and  "Right 
Wing."  «o  The  SSS  also  received  about  10,000  names  on  IDIU  com- 
puter printouts.*^^  SSS  opened  files  on  all  these  taxpayers,  many  of 
whom  Avere  later  subjected  to  tax  audits  and  some  to  tax  fraud  investi- 
gations. There  is  no  reason  to  believe  that  the  names  listed  by  the  FBI 
or  the  IDILT  were  selected  on  the  basis  of  any  probable  noncompliance 
with  the  tax  laws.  Rather,  these  groups  and  individuals  were  targeted 
because  of  their  political  and  ideological  beliefs  and  activities.*^^ 

The  SSS,  by  the  time  it  was  disbanded  in  1973,  had  gone  over 
approximately  half  of  the  IDIU  index  and  established  files  on  those 
individuals  on  whom  it  had  no  file.  Names  on  the  SSS  list  included 
Nobel  Prize  winner  Linus  Pauling,  Senators  Charles  Goodell  and 
Ernest  Gruening,  Congressman  Charles  Diggs,  journalists  Joseph 
Alsop  and  Jimmv  Breslin,  and  attorney  Mitchell  Rogovin.  Organiza- 
tions on  the  SSS  list  included :  political  groups  ranginar  from  the  John 
Birch  Society  to  Common  Cause ;  religious  organizations  such  as  the 
B'nai  Brith  Antidefamation  League  and  the  Associated  Catholic 
Charities ;  professional  associations  such  as  the  American  Law  Insti- 
tute and  the  Legal  Aid  Society ;  private  foundations  such  as  the  Car- 
negie Foundation;  publications  ranging  from  "Playboy"  to  "Com- 
monwealth;" and  government  institutions  including  the  United 
States  Civil  Rights  Commission.*^^ 

SSS  officials  have  conceded  that  some  cases  referred  to  the  field  for 
tax  investiirations  would  not  have  qualified  for  referral  but  for  the 
ideological  categoiy  in  which  they  fell.  "VVliile  IRS  field  offices  closed 
out  many  cases  because  of  the  lack  of  tax  grounds  upon  which  legal 

*^  "Investigation  of  the  Special  Service  Staff  of  the  IRS"  by  the  staff  of  the 
Joint  Committee  on  Internal  Revenue  Taxation,  6/5/75.  pp.  17-18. 
*"  Memorandum  of  IRS  Commissioner  Thrower,  6/16/69. 
*^  Memorandum  from  D.  W.  Bacon  to  Director,  FBI.  8/8/69. 
*^  Memorandum  from  D.  T.  Brennan,  .Jr..  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  8/15/69. 
^'^  SSS  Bi-weeklv  Report,  6/15/70. 
*^  SSS  Bi-weekly  Report.  8/29/69. 

*^For  a  discussion  of  IDTT^  standards,  see  pp.  7R-81.  122-123. 
*"  Donald  Alexander  testimony,  10/2/25,  Hearings,  Vol.  3,  pp.  29-30. 


action  could  be  taken,  referral  from  the  SSS  probably  resulted  in  the 
examination  of  some  cases  despite  the  lack  of  adequate  grounds.  Inter- 
views wtih  IRS  field  personnel  confirm  that  this  did  occur  in  several 

Upon  discovering  that  its  functions  were  not  tax-related,  new  IRS 
Commissioner  Alexander  ordered  the  Special  Service  Staff  abolished. 
He  testified: 

Mr.  Alexander.  I  ordered  the  Special  Service  staff  abol- 
ished. That  order  was  given  on  August  the  9th,  1973.  It  was 
implemented  by  manual  supplements  issued  on  August  the 
13th,  1973.  We  held  the  files.  I  ordered  the  files  be  held  intact— 
I'm  not  going  to  give  any  negative  assurances  to  this  Com- 
mittee— in  order  that  this  Committee  and  other  Committees 
could  review  these  files  to  see  what  was  in  them,  and  see  what 
sort  of  information  was  supplied  to  us  on  this  more  than 
11,000  individuals  and  organizations  as  to  whom  and  which 
files  were  maintained. 

I  suggested,  Mr.  Chairman,  that  at  the  end  of  all  of  these 
inquiries,  I  would  like  to  take  those  files  to  the  Ellipse  and 
have  the  biggest  bonfire  since  1814. 

The  Chatrmax.  Well,  I  concur  in  that  judgment.  I  would 
only  say  this  to  you ;  in  a  way,  it  might  be  a  more  important 
bonfire  than  the  Boston  Tea  Party  when  it  comes  to  protect- 
ing individual  rights  of  American  citizens.  I  am  glad  you 
feel  that  way.  I  am  glad  you  took  that  action.*^* 

5.  Foreign  Intelligence  and  Domestic  Dissent 

In  the  late  1960's,  CIA  and  NSA,  acting  in  response  to  presidential 
pressure,  turned  their  technological  capacity  and  great  resources  to- 
ward spying  on  certain  Americans.  The  initial  impetus  was  to  deter- 
mine whether  the  antiwar  movement — and  to  a  lesser  extent  the 
"black  power"  movement — were  controlled  by  foreigners.  Despite  evi- 
dence that  there  was  no  significant  foreign  influence,  the  intelligence 
gathering  which  culminated  in  CIA's  "Operation  CHAOS"  followed 
the  general  pattern  of  broadening  in  scope  and  intensity.  The  pro- 
cedure for  one  aspect  of  these  programs  was  established  by  an  informal 
agreement  between  the  CIA  and  FBI  in  1966,  which  permitted  CIA  to 
engage  in  "internal  security"  activities  in  the  United  States. 

a.  Origins  of  CIA  Involvement  in  ''''Internal  Security  Func- 

The  National  Security  Act  of  1947  explicitly  prohibited  the  CIA 
from  exercising  "police,  subpoena,  or  law-enforcement  powers,  or 
internal  security  functions."  But  the  Act  did  not  address  the  question 
of  the  CIA's  authority  to  conduct  clandestine  intelligence  acti\dty 
within  the  United  States  for  what  Secretary  Forrestal  called  "pur- 
poses outside  of  this  country."  *^^ 

Under  Director  Hoover,  the  FBI  interpreted  the  term  "internal 
security  functions"  broadly  to  encompass  almost  "anything  that  CIA 

«3«  Grepn.  9/12/75,  pp.  65-66,  73-74;  Statpment  of  Auditor,  San  Franeisco  Dis- 
trict. 7/30/75.  p.  1 ;  statempnt  of  Collector.  T/Os  Angreles  District,  8/3/75. 

*^  Donald  Alexander  testimony,  10/2/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  3,  pp.  10-11. 

**Hearinp:s  before  the  House  Committee  on  Expenditures  in  the  Executive 
Departments,  on  H.R.  2319,  80th  Cong.  (1947),  p.  127. 


might  be  doing  in  the  United  States."  *^^  Throughout  the  1950's  and 
into  the  early  1960's,  Director  Hoover's  position  led  to  jurisdictional 
conflicts  between  the  CIA  and  the  FBI. 

The  Bureau  insisted  on  being  informed  of  the  CIA's  activity  in  the 
United  States  so  that  it  could  be  coordinated  with  the  Bureau.  As  the 
FBI  liaison  with  the  CIA  in  that  period  recalled,  "CIA  would  take 
a<jtion,  it  would  come  to  our  attention  and  we  would  have  a  flap."  "^^^ 

In  1966  the  FBI  and  CIA  negotiated  an  informal  agreement  to  regu- 
larize their  coordination.  This  agreement  was  said  to  have  "led  to  a 
great  improvement"  and  almost  eliminated  the  "flaps."  ^^^ 

Under  the  agreement,  the  CIA  would  "seek  concurrence  and  coordi- 
nation of  the  FBI"  before  engaging  in  clandestine  activity  in  the 
United  States  and  the  FBI  would  "concur  and  coordinate  if  the  pro- 
posed action  does  not  conflict  with  any  operation,  current  or  planned, 
including  active  investigation  of  the  FBI."  ^^^  "WTien  an  operative 
recruited  by  the  CIA  abroad  arrived  in  the  United  States,  the  FBI 
would  "be  advised"  and  the  two  agencies  would  "confer  regarding  the 
handling  of  the  agent  in  the  United  States."  The  CIA  would  continue 
its  "handling"  of  the  agent  for  "foreign  intelligence"  purposes.  The 
FBI  would  also  become  involved  where  there  were  "internal  security 
factors,"  although  it  was  recognized  that  the  CIA  might  continue  to 
"handle"  the  agent  in  the  United  States  and  provide  the  Bureau  with 
"information"  bearing  on  "internal  security  matters."  **° 

As  part  of  their  handling  of  "internal  security  factors,"  CIA  opera- 
tives were  used  after  1966  to  report  on  domestic  "dissidents"  for  the 
FBI.  There  were  infrequent  instances  in  which,  according  to  the  for- 
mer FBI  liaison  with  CIA : 

CIA  had  penetrations  abroad  in  radical,  revolutionary 
organizations  and  the  individual  was  coming  here  to  attend  a 
conference,  a  meeting,  and  would  be  associating  with  leading 
dissidents,  and  the  question  came  up,  can  he  be  of  any  use  to 
us,  can  we  have  access  to  him  during  that  period. 

In  most  instances,  because  he  was  here  for  a  relatively  short 
period,  we  would  levy  the  requirement  or  the  request  upon  the 
CIA  to  find  out  what  was  taking  place  at  the  meetings  to  get 
his  assessment  of  the  individuals  that  he  was  meeting,  and  any 
other  general  intelligence  that  he  could  collect  from,  his  asso- 
ciations with  the  people  who  were  of  interest  to  us.**^ 

The  policies  embodied  in  the  1966  agreement  and  the  practice  under 
it  clearly  involved  the  CIA  in  the  performance  of  "internal  security 

"*  Former  FBI  Liaison  with  CIA  testimony,  9/22/75,  p.  9. 

*^  Former  FBI  liaison  with  CIA  testimony,  9/22/75,  pp.  9-11. 

*^  Liaison,  9/22/75.  p.  11.  For  a  discussion  of  liaison  problems  between  FBI 
and  riA  in  1970.  see  pp.  112-113. 

*^  Liaison,  9/22/75,  p.  52.  "Central  Intelligence  Agency  Operations  in  the 
United  States,"  FBI-CIA  Memorandum  of  Understanding,  2/7/66. 

***  Liaison,  9/22/75,  p.  55. 

*"  Liaison,  9/22/75,  pp.  57-58.  These  "internal  security"  aspects  of  the  1966 
FBI-CIA  agreement  were  not  the  only  pre-CHAOS  arrangements  bringing  the 
CIA  into  liaison  with  the  FBI.  For  example,  as  early  as  1963  the  FBI  Manual 
was  revised  to  state  that  information  concerning  "proposed  travel  abroad"  by 
domestic  "subversives"  was  to  be  "furnished  by  the  Bureau  to  the  Department 
of  State"  and  the  "Central  Intelligence  Agency :"  and  fiekl  offices  were  advised 
to  recommend  the  "extent  of  foreign  investigation"  which  was  required.  (FBI 
Manual  Section  87,  p.  33a,  revised  4/15/63.) 

B-786  O  -  76  -  8 


functions."  At  no  time  did  the  Executive  branch  ask  Congress  to  amend 
the  1947  act  to  modify  its  ban  against  CIA  exercising  "internal  secu- 
rity functions."  Nor  was  Congress  asked  to  clarify  the  ambiguity  of  the 
1947  act  about  the  CIA's  authority  to  conduct  clandestine  foreign 
intelligence  and  counterintelligence  activities  within  the  United  States, 
a  matter  dealt  with  even  today  by  Executive  Order.*'*^ 

Moreover,  National  Security  Council  Intelligence  Directive  5  pro- 
vided authority  within  the  Executive  Branch  for  the  Director  of  Cen- 
tral Intelligence  to  coordinate,  and  for  the  CIA  to  conduct,  counter- 
intelligence activities  abroad  to  protect  the  United  States  against  not 
only  espionage  and  sabotage,  but  also  "subversion."  ^^^  However, 
NSCID  5  did  not  purport  to  give  the  CIA  authority  for  counter- 
intelligence activities  in  the  United  States,  as  provided  in  the  FBI- 
CIA  agreement  of  1966. 

h.  CIA  Intelligence  About  Domestic  Political  Groups 
In  the  late  1960s,  the  CIA  increasingly  was  drawn  into  collecting 
intelligence  about  domestic  political  groups,  particularly  the  anti-war 
movement,  in  response  to  FBI  requests  and  to  pressure  from  Presidents 
Johnson  and  Nixon.  A  principal  assistant  to  President  Johnson  testi- 
fied that  high  governmental  officials  could  not  believe  that 

a  cause  that  is  so  clearly  right  for  the  country,  as  they  per- 
ceive it,  would  be  so  widely  attacked  if  there  were  not  some 
[foreign]  force  behind  it.*** 

The  same  pressures  and  beliefs  led  to  CIA  investigations  of  "militant 
black  nationalists"  and  radical  students. 

(1)  CIA  Response  to  FBI  Requests. — The  FBI  was  the  main  chan- 
nel for  mobilizing  foreign  intelligence  resources  and  techniques 
against  domestic  targets.  The  FBI  regularly  notified  the  CIA  that  it 
wished  coverage  of  Americans  overseas.***^  Indeed,  the  CIA  regarded 
the  mention  of  a  name  in  any  of  the  thousands  of  reports  sent  to  it 
by  the  FBI  as  a  standing  requirement  from  the  FBI  for  information 
about  those  persons.*^^  FBI  reports  flowed  to  the  CIA  at  a  rate  of 
over  1,000  a  month.**^  From  1967  to  1974,  the  CIA  responded  with 
over  5,000  reports  to  the  FBI.  These  CIA  disseminations  included  some 
reports  of  information  acquired  by  the  CIA  in  the  course  of  its  own 
operations,  not  sought  in  response  to  a  specific  FBI  request.**^ 

The  FBI's  broad  approach  to  the  investigations  of  foreign  influ- 
ence which  it  coordinated  with  the  CIA  is  shown  by  a  memorandum 

"*  President  Ford's  Executive  Order  11905,  2/18/76.  This  order,  discussed  more 
fully  in  Part  IV.  Recommendations,  in  effect  reinforces  the  1966  FBI-CIA  agree- 
ment and  defines  CIA  counterintelligence  duties  abroad  to  include  "foreign  sub- 
version" directed  against  the  United  States. 

"^  The  National  Security  Council  Intelligence  Directives,  or  NSCIDs,  have  been 
promulgated  by  the  National  Security  Council  to  provide  the  basic  organization 
and  direction  of  the  intelligence  agencies. 

*"  .Joseph  Califano  testimony,  1/27/76,  p.  70. 

*^"  Richard  Ober  testimony,  10/30/75,  p.  88. 

"'  Ober,  10/28/75,  p.  45. 

"®  Memorandum  from  Richard  Ober  to  James  Angleton,  6/9/70,  p.  9. 

*"  Letter  from  Director  W.  Colby  to  Vice  President  Rockefeller,  8/8/75,  p.  6  of 


prepared  in  the  Intelligence  Division  early  in  1969  summarizing  its 
"coverage  of  the  New  Left :" 

Foreign  influence  of  the  New  Left  movement  offers  us  a 
fertile  field  to  develop  valuable  intelligence  data.  To  date  there 
is  no  real  cohesiveness  between  international  New  Left  groups, 
but  .  .  .  despite  the  factionalism  and  confusion  now  so  preva- 
lent, thei^e  is  great  potential  for  the  development  of  an  inter- 
national student  revolutionary  movement.  [Emphasis  added.] 

The  memorandum  expressed  concern  that  "old  line"  leftist  groups 

.  .  .  making  a  determined  effort  to  move  into  the  New  Left 
movement  ,  .  .  [and  were]  influencing  the  thinking  of  the 
New  Left  .  .  .  against  the  police  in  general  and  the  FBI  in 
particular,  to  drive  us  off  the  campuses;  as  well  as  attacks 
against  the  new  administration  to  degrade  President 

There  was  no  mention  of,  or  apparent  concern  for,  direct  influence  or 
control  of  the  "New  Left"  by  agents  of  hostile  foreign  powers.  In- 
stead, the  stress  was  almost  entirely  upon  ideological  links  and  sim- 
ilarities, and  the  threat  of  ideas  considered  dangerous  by  the  FBI. 

The  enlistment  of  both  CIA  and  NSA  resources  in  domestic  intel- 
ligence is  illustrated  by  the  "Black  Nationalist"  investigations.  In 
1967,  FBI  Headquarters  instructed  field  offices  that : 

.  .  .  penetrative  investigations  should  be  initiated  at  this 
time  looking  toward  developing  any  information  regarding 
contacts  on  the  part  of  these  individuals  with  foreign  elements 
and  looking  toward  developing  any  additional  information 
having  a  bearing  upon  whether  the  individual  involved  is  cur- 
rently subjected  to  foreign  influence  or  direction.  ... 

During  your  investigative  coverage  of  all  militant  black 
nationalists,  be  most  alert  to  any  foreign  travel.  Advise  the 
Bureau  promptly  of  such  in  order  that  a'pj)rofirate  overseas 
investigations  may  be  conducted  to  establish  activities  and 
contacts  abroad.  [Emphasis  added.]  **^ 

The  FBI  passed  such  information  to  the  CIA,  which  in  turn  began 
to  place  individual  black  nationalists  on  a  "watch  list"  for  the  inter- 
ception of  international  communications  by  the  National  Security 
Agency.  After  1969,  the  FBI  began  submitting  names  of  citizens  en- 
gaged in  domestic  protest  and  violence  to  the  CIA  not  only  for  in  vest  i- 
galtion  abroad,  but  also  for  placement  on  the  "watch  list"  of  the  CIx^'s 
mail  opening  project.  Similar  lists  of  names  went  from  the  FBI  to  the 
National  Security  Agency,  for  use  on  a  "watch  list"  for  monitoring 
other  channels  of  international  communication. 

(2)  Operati&n-  CHAOS.— The  CIA  did  not  restrict  itself  to  servic- 
ing the  FBI's  requests.  Under  White  House  pressure,  the  CIA  devel- 
oped its  own  program — Operation  CHAOS — as  an  adjunct  to  the 

***  Memorandum  from  C.  D.  Brennan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan  re  New  Left  Move- 
ment, 2/3/69. 
**»  SAC  Letter  No.  67-66, 11/7/67. 


CIA's  foreign  coim:terintellij?ence  activities,  although  CIA  officials 
recognized  from  the  outset  that  it  had  "definite  domestic  counterin- 
telligence aspects."  ^^° 

Former  CIA  Director  Richard  Helms  testified  that  he  established 
the  program  in  response  to  President  Johnson's  persistent  interest  in 
the  extent  of  foreign  influence  on  domestic  dissidents.  According  to 
Helms,  the  President  would  repeatedly  ask,  "How  are  you  getting 
along  with  your  examination?"  and  "Have  you  picked  up  any  more 
information  on  this  subject  ?"  *^^ 

The  fii-st  CHAOS  instructions  to  CIA  station  chiefs  in  August  1967 
described  the  need  for  "keeping  tabs  on  radical  students  and  U.S. 
Negro  expatriates  as  well  as  travelers  passing  through  certain  select 
areas  abroad."  The  originally  stated  objective  was  "to  find  out  [the] 
extent  to  which  Soviets,  Chicoms  (Chinese  Communists)  and  Cubans 
are  exploiting  our  domestic  problems  in  terms  of  espionage  and  sub- 
version." *^^ 

Following  the  consistent  pattern  of  intelligence  acti^dties,  those 
original  instructions  gradually  broadened  without  any  precision  in  the 
kind  of  foreign  contacts  which  were  to  be  targeted  by  CIA  operations. 
For  example : 

—President  Johnson  asked  the  CIA  to  conduct  a  study  of 
"International  Connections  of  the  U.S.  Peace  Movement"  fol- 
lowing the  October  1967  demonstration  at  the  Pentagon.*^^ 
In  response,  CIA  headquarters  sent  a  directive  to  CIA  sta- 
tions seeking  information  on  "illegal  and  subvei'sive"  connec- 
tions between  U.S.  ac^ti^^sts  and  "communist,  communist 
front,  or  other  anti-American  and  foreign  elements  abroad. 
Such  connections  might  range  fix)m  casual  confactfi  based 
merely  on  Tnutual  interest  to  closelv  controlled  channels  for 
party  directives."  [Emphasis  added.]  ^^* 

—In  mid-1968,  the  DDP  described  CHAOS  to  CIA  stations 
as  a  "high  priority  program"  concerning  foreign  "contacts" 
with  the  "Radical  Left,"  which  was  defined  as :  "radical  stu- 
dents, antiwar  activists,  draft  resisters  and  deserters,  black 
nationalists,  anarchists,  and  assorted  'New  Leftists.'  "  ^^^ 

— In  1969,  President  Nixon's  A^Hiite  House  required  the 
CIA  to  study  foreign  commimist  support  of  American  protest 
groups  and  stressed  that  "support"  should  be  "liberally  con- 
strued" to  include  "encouragement"  by  Communist  coun- 
tries. ^^^ 

— In  the  fall  of  1969,  CIA  stations  were  asked  to  report  on 
any  foreign  support,  guidance,  or  "inspiration"  to  protest 
activities  in  the  United  States.^^^ 

*°°  Memorandum  from  Thomas  Karamessines  to  .Tames  Angleton,  8/15/67,  p.  1. 

*^*  Helms,  Rockefeller  Commission,  4/28/75,  pp.  2434-2435. 

■^^  CIA  Headquarters  cable  to  several  field  stations,  August,  1967,  p.  1. 

^^  Memorandum  from  Richard  Helms  to  President  .Tohn.son,  11/15/67. 

*"  VIA  Cable  from  Acting  DDP  to  various  field  stations,  November  1967, 
pp.  1-2. 

*^  CIA  Cable  from  Thomas  Karamessines  to  various  field  stations,  .Tuly  1968, 

*^  Memorandum  from  Tom  Huston  to  the  Deput.v  Director,  CIA,  6/20/69,  p.  1. 

*^'  Cable  from  CIA  headquarters  to  stations,  November  1969. 


Thus,  this  attempt  to  ascertain  and  evaluate  "foreign  links"  was  so 
broadly  defined  that  it  required  much  more  than  background  infor- 
mation or  investigation  of  a  few  individuals  suspected  of  being  agents 
directed  by  a  hostile  power.  Instead,  at  a  time  when  there  was 
considerable  international  communication  and  travel  by  Americans 
engaged  in  protest  and  dissent,  a  substantial  segment  by  American 
protest  groups  was  encompassed  by  CIA  collection  requirements  to 
investigate  foreign  "encouragement,"  "inspiration,"  "casual  contacts" 
or  "mutual  interest."  Once  again,  the  use  of  elastic  words  in  mandates 
for  intelligence  activity  resulted  in  overbroad  coverage  and  collection. 

In  addition  to  their  intelligence  activity  directed  at  Americans 
abroad,  CHAOS  undercover  agents,  while  in  the  United  States  in 
preparation  for  overseas  assignment  or  between  assignments,  provided 
substantial  information  about  lawful  domestic  activities  of  dissident 
American  groups,  as  well  as  providing  leads  about  possible  foreign 
ties.^^^  In  a  few  instances,  the  CIA  agents  appear  to  have  been  encour- 
aged to  participate  in  specific  protest  activity  or  to  obtain  particular 
domestic  information.*^^  The  CHAOS  program  also  involved  obtain- 
ing information  about  xlmericans  from  the  CIA  mail  opening  project 
and  other  domestic  CIA  components  *^°  and  from  a  National  Security 
Agency  international  communications  intercept  program.**'^ 

CIA  officials  recognized  that  the  CIA's  examination  of  domestic 
groups  violated  the  Agency's  mandate  and  thus  accorded  it  a  high 
degree  of  sensitivity.  As  CIA  Director  Richard  Helms  wrote  in  1969, 
when  he  transmitted  to  the  White  House  the  CIA's  study  of  "Restless 

In  an  effort  to  round  out  our  discussion  of  this  subject,  we 
have  included  a  section  on  American  students.  This  is  an  area 
not  within  the  charter  of  this  Agency,  so  I  need  not  emphasize 
how  extremely  sensitive  this  makes  the  paper.  Should  anyone 
learn  of  its  existence,  it  would  prove  most  embarrassing  for 
all  concerned.*^^ 

The  reaction  to  such  admissions  of  illegality  was  neither  an  instruction 
to  stop  the  program  or  an  attempt  to  change  the  law.  Rather,  the  "White 
House  continued  to  ask  for  more  information  and  continued  to  urge 
the  CIA  to  confirm  the  theory  that  American  dissidents  were  under 
foreign  control.**^^ 

Director  Richard  Helms  testified  that  the  only  manner  in  which 
the  CIA  could  support  its  conclusion  that  there  was  no  significant 
foreign  influence  on  the  domestic  dissent,  in  the  face  of  incredulity 
at  the  White  House,  was  to  continually  expand  the  coverage  of 
CHAOS.  Only  by  being  able  to  demonstrate  that  it  had  investigated 
all  anti-war  persons  and  all  contacts  between  them  and  any  foreign 

*^  Charles  Marcnles  testimony,  Rockefeller  Commission,  3/10/75.  pp.  1538-1547, 
1566-1567:  Ober,  9/24/75,  p.  4(5.  (For  security  reasons,  the  CHAOS  agent  case 
officer  testified  as  "Charles  Marcnles".) 

*'"  Marcnles  Contact  Report,  4/17/71 ;  Marcnles,  Rockefeller  Commission,  3/10/ 
75.  pp.  15.56-1 .558. 

^  Memorandum  from  Richard  Ober  to  Chief,  CI  Project,  2/15/72. 

«>'  Ober,  ]0/.30,75  pp.  16-17. 

*^-  Letter  from  Richard  Helms  to  Henry  Kissinger,  2/18/69. 

*^  Richard  Helms  deposition.  Rockefeller  Commission,  4/24/75,  p.  223. 


person  could  CIA  "prove  the  negative"  that  none  were  under  foreign 

In  1972,  the  CIA  Inspector  General  found  "general  concern"  among 
the  overseas  stations  "over  wliat  appeared  to  constitute  a  monitoring 
of  the  political  views  and  activities  of  Americans  not  known  to  be,  or 
suspected  of,  being  involved  in  espionage."  Several  stations  had  "doubts 
as  to  the  nature  and  legitimacy  of  the  program"  because  requests  for 
reports  on  "prominent  persons"  were  based  on  "nebulous"  allegations 
of  "subversion."  ^^^  This  led  to  "a  reduction  in  the  intensity  of  attention 
to  political  dissidents,"  ^^^  although  the  program  was  not  terminated 
until  March  1974.*" 

By  the  end  of  the  CHAOS  program,  13,000  different  files  were  accu- 
mulated, including  more  than  7,200  on  American  citizens.  Documents 
in  these  files  included  the  names  of  more  than  300,000  persons  and 
groups,  indexed  by  computer.*^^  In  addition  to  collecting  information 
on  an  excessive  number  of  persons,  some  of  the  kinds  of  information 
were  wholly  irrelevant  to  the  legitimate  interests  of  the  CIA  or  any 
other  government  agency.  For  example,  one  CIA  agent  supplying 
information  on  domestic  activities  to  Operation  CHAOS  submitted 
detailed  accounts  of  the  activities  of  Avomen  who  were  interested  in 
"women's  liberation."  *^^ 

c.  CIA  Security  Operations  Within  the  United  States:  Pro- 
tecting '■^Sources''''  and  ''^Methods'''' 

The  National  Security  Act  of  1947  granted  the  Director  of  Central 
Intelligence  a  vaguely-worded  responsibility  for  "protecting  intelli- 
gence sources  and  methods  from  unauthorized  disclosure."  *"°  The 
legislative  history  of  this  provision  suggests  that  it  was  initially 
intended  to  allay  concerns  of  the  military  services  that  the  new  CIA 
would  not  operate  with  adequate  safeguards  to  protect  the  military 
intelligence  secrets  which  would  be  shared  with  the  CIA.*^^  However, 
this  authority  was  later  read  by  the  CIA  to  authorize  infiltration  of 
domestic  groups  in  order  to  protect  CIA  personnel  and  facilities  from 
possibly  violent  public  demonstrations.  It  was  also  read  to  permit 
electronic  surveillance  and  surreptitious  entry  to  protect  sensitive 

The  CIA  undertook  a  series  of  specific  security  investigations  within 
the  United  States,  in  some  cases  to  find  the  source  of  news  leaks  and 
in  others  to  determine  whether  government  employees  were  involved 
in  espionage  or  otherwise  constituted  "security  risks."  These  investiga- 
tions were  directed  at  former  CIA  employees,  employees  of  other 
government  agencies,  newsmen  and  other  private  citizens  in  this 
countrv.*^^  Among  the  techniques  used  were  physical  surveillance, 

*"  Helms  deposition,  Rockefeller  Commission,  4/24/75,  p.  234 ;  Ober  deposition, 
Rockefeller  Commission.  3/28/75,  pp.  137-138. 

**'  Memorandum  from  Inspector  General  to  Executive  Director-Comptroller, 
11/9/72.  p. 1. 

**"  Memorandum  from  Executive  Director-Comptroller  to  DDP,  12/20/72. 

*"  Cable  from  CTA  Director  William  Colby  to  Field  Stations,  March  1974. 

"^  Rockefeller  Commission  Report,  p.  23. 

***  Aeent  1.  Contact  Report,  Volume  II,  Agent  1  file. 

*'°  50  U.S.C.  403(d)(3). 

"^  Lawrence  Houston  testimony.  Rockefeller  Commission.  3/17/75,  pp.  16.54- 

*'^  Rockefeller  Commission  Report,  pp.  162-166. 


mail  and  tax  information  coverage,  electronic  surveillance,  and  sur- 
reptitious entry.  Attorney  General  Robert  Kennedy  appears  to  have 
authorized  CIA  wiretapping  in  one  of  these  investigations.  Witli  this 
exception,  however,  there  is  no  suggestion  that  the  CIA's  security 
investigations  were  specifically  approved  by  the  Attorney  General.*^^ 

The  CIA  Office  of  Security  established  two  programs  directed  at 
pix)test  demonstrations  which  involved  the  CIA  in  domestic  affairs 
on  the  theorv  that  doing  so  Avas  necessary  to  safeguard  CIA  facilities 
in  the  United  States.*"*  Proiect  MERRIMACK  (1967  to  1973)  in- 
volved the  infiltration  by  CIA  agents  of  Washington-based  peace 
groups  and  Black  activist  groups.  The  Stated  purpose  of  the  piT)gram 
was  to  obtain  early  warning  of  demonstrations  and  other  physical 
threats  to  the  CIA.  However,  the  collection  requirements  were  broad- 
ened to  include  general  information  about  the  leadership,  funding, 
activities,  and  policies  of  the  targeted  groups. 

Project  RESISTANCE  (1967  to  1973)  was  a  broad  effort  to  obtain 
general  background  information  about  radical  groups  across  the  coun- 
try, particularly  on  campuses.  The  CIA  justified  this  program  as  a 
means  of  predicting  violence  which  might  threaten  CIA  installations, 
recruiters,  or  contractors,  and  gathering  information  with  which  to 
evaluate  applicants  for  CIA  employment.  Much  of  the  reporting  by 
CIA  field  offices  to  headquarter  was  from  open  sources  such  as  news- 
papers. But  additional  information  was  obtained  from  cooperating 
police  departments,  campus  officials,  and  other  local  authorities, 
some  of  whom  in  turn  were  using  collection  techniques  such  as 

These  programs  illustrated  fundamental  weaknesses  and  contra- 
dictions in  the  statutory  definition  of  CIA  authority  in  the  1947  Act. 
"N^Hiile  the  Director  of  Central  Intelligence  is  charged  with  responsi- 
bility to  protect  intelligence  "sources  and  methods,"  the  CIA  is  for- 
bidden from  exercising  law  enforcement  and  police  powers  and 
"internal  securitv  functions.''  The  CIA  never  went  to  Congress  for 
a  clarification  of  this  ambiguity,  nor  did  it  seek  interpretation  from 
the  chief  legal  officer  of  the  United  States — the  Attorney  General — 
except  on  the  rarest  of  occasions.*^^ 

"^  According  to  a  "memorandum  for  the  record"  sent  by  CIA  General  Counsel 
Lawrence  R.  Houston  to  Deputy  Attorney  General  William  P.  Rogers  in  1954.  an 
agreement  was  reached  at  that  time  allowing  the  CIA  to  investigate  on  its  own 
any  "actual  or  probable  violation  of  criminal  statutes"  involving  the  CIA's 
"covert  operations"  and  to  determine  for  itself,  without  consulting  the  .Justice 
Department,  whether  there  were  "possibilities  for  prosecution."  The  Justice 
Department  would  not  be  informed  if  the  CIA  decided  that  there  should  be 
no  prosecution  on  the  ground  that  it  might  lead  to  "revelation  of  highly  classified 
information."  (Memorandum  from  Houston  to  Rogers,  3/1/54,  and  enclosed 
memorandum  from  Houston  to  the  Director  of  Central  Intellieence,  2/23/54.) 

This  practice  was  reviewed  and  re-confirmed  internally  within  the  CIA  on  at 
least  two  subsequent  occasions.  (Memorandum  from  Houston  to  the  Assistant 
to  the  Director,  CIA,  1/6/60 ;  memorandum  from  Houston  to  the  Deputy  Director 
of  Centml  Intelligence.  6/10/64.)  It  was  not  terminated  until  1975.  (Memo- 
randiim  from  .Tohn  S.  Warner.  CIA  Gf^nt-rai  Counsel,  for  the  record.  1/31/75.) 

*'' These  CIA  activities.  Projects  MERRIMACK  and  RESISTANCE,  were  de- 
scribed in  great  detail  bv  the  Rockefeller  Commission.  (Rockefeller  Commission 
Renort.  Cbs.  12  and  13.)  " 

""  The  Rockefeller  Commission  Report  describes  ".  .  .  two  cases  in  which  tele- 
phones of  three  new.smen  were  tapped  .  .  .  [One]  occurred  in  1962.  apparently 
with  the  knowledge  and  consent  of  Attorney  General  Kennedy."  (Rockefeller 
Commission  Report,  p.  164.) 


d.  NSA  Monitoring 

The  National  Security  Agency  was  created  by  Executive  Order  in 
1952  to  conduct  "signals  intelligence,"  including  the  interception  and 
analysis  of  messages  transmitted  by  electronic  means,  such  as  tele- 
phone calls  and  telegrams.^'^  In  contrast  to  the  CIA,  there  has  never 
been  a  statutory  "charter"  for  NSA. 

The  executive  directives  which  authorize  NSA's  activities  prohibit 
the  agency  from  monitoring  communication  between  persons  within 
the  United  States  and  communication  concerning  purely  domestic 
affairs.  The  current  NSA  Director  testified : 

[The]  mission  of  NSA  is  directed  to  foreign  intelligence  ob- 
tained from  foreign  electrical  communications.  .  .  .*^^ 

However,  NSA  has  interpreted  "foreign  communications"  to  include 
communication  where  one  terminal  is  outside  the  United  States.  Under 
this  interpretation,  NSA  has,  for  many  years,  intercepted  communica- 
tions between  the  United  States  and  a  foreign  country  even  though 
the  sender  or  receiver  was  an  American.  During  the  past  decade,  NSA 
increasingly  broadened  its  interpretation  of  "foreign  intelligence" 
to  include  economic  and  financial  matters  and  "international 
terrorism."  ^^^ 

The  overall  consequence,  as  in  the  case  of  CIA  activities  such  as 
Project  CHAOS,  was  to  break  down  the  distinction  between  "foreign" 
and  "domestic"  intelligence.  For  example,  in  the  1960s,  NSA  began 
adding  to  its  "watch  lists,"  at  the  request  of  various  intelligence  agen- 
cies, the  names  of  Americans  suspected  of  involvement  in  civil  dis- 
turbance or  drug  activity  which  had  some  foreign  aspects.  Second, 
Operation  Shamrock,  which  began  as  an  effort  to  acquire  the  tele- 
grams of  certain  foreign  targets,  expanded  so  that  NSA  obtained  from 
at  least  two  cable  companies  essentially  all  cables  to  or  from  the 
United  States,  including  millions  of  the  private  communications  of 

6.  Intrusive  Techniques 

As  domestic  intelligence  activity  increasingly  broadened  to  cover 
domestic  dissenters  under  many  different  programs,  the  government 
intensified  the  use  of  covert  techniques  which  intruded  upon  individual 

Informants  were  used  to  gather  more  information  about  more 
Americans,  often  targeting  an  individual  because  of  his  political  views 
and  "regardless  of  past  or  present  involvement  in  disorders."  *®^  The 
CIA's  mail  opening  program  increasingly  focused  upon  domestic 
groups,  including  "protest  and  peace  organizations"  which  were  cov- 
ered at  the  FBI's  request.^^*  Similarly,  NSA — largely  in  response  to 
Army,  CIA,  and  FBI  pressures — expanded  its  international  intercep- 
tion program  to  include  "information  on  U.S.  organizations  or  indi- 
viduals  who   are  engaged   in   activities  which  may   result  in  civil 

*"  Memorandum  from  President  Truman  to  Secretary  of  Defense,  10/24/52. 

*™  General  Lew  Allen  testimony,  10/29/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  2,  p.  6. 

*^"  Allen,  10/29/75,  Hearings,  vol.  2,  p.  11.  The  programs  of  NSA  are  discussed 
further  in  the  succeeding  section,  "Intrusive  Techniques,"  p.  183. 

"*'  Memorandum  from  FBI  Executive  Conference  to  Mr.  Tolson,  10/29/70.  See 
pp.  74-76. 

^^  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Angleton,  3/10/72. 


disturbances  or  otherwise  subvert  the  national  security  of  the  United 
States."  *«^ 

During  this  period,  Director  Hoover  ordered  cutbacks  on  the  FBI's 
use  of  a  number  of  intrusive  techniques.  Frustration  with  Hoover's 
cutbacks  was  a  substantial  contributing  factor  to  the  effort  in  1970 — 
coordinated  by  White  House  Aide  Tom  Charles  Huston  and  strongly 
supported  by  CIA  Director  Helms,  NSA  Director  Gaylor  and 
Hoover's  Intelligence  Division  subordinates — to  obtain  Presidential 
authorization  for  numerous  illegal  or  questionable  intelligence 

a.  Warrantless  Electromc  Surveillance 

(1)  Executive  Branch  Restrictions  on  Electronic  Surveillance: 
1965-1968. — In  March  1965,  Attorney  General  Nicholas  deB.  Katzen- 
bach  established  a  new  requirement  for  the  FBI's  intelligence  opera- 
tions :  the  Bureau  had  to  obtain  the  written  approval  of  the  Attorney 
General  prior  to  the  implementation  of  any  microphone  surveillance. 
He  also  imposed  a  six  month  limitation  on  both  wiretaps  and  micro- 
phone surveillances,  after  which  time  new  requests  had  to  be  sub- 
mitted for  the  Attorney  General's  re-authorization.*^*^ 

Upon  Katzenbach's  recommendation,  President  Johnson  issued  a 
directive  in  June  1965  forbidding  all  federal  government  wiretapping 
"except  in  conjunction  with  investigations  related  to  national 
security."  *^^  This  standard  was  reiterated  by  Attorney  General  Katzen- 
bach,  for  both  wiretapping  and  microphone  surveillances  three  months 
later,  and  again  in  July  1966.*®^^ 

While  the  procedures  were  tightened,  the  broad  "national  security" 
standard  still  allowed  for  questionable  authorizations  of  electronic 
surveillance.  In  fact,  Katzenbach  told  Director  Hoover  that  he  would 
"continue  to  approve  all  such  requests  in  the  future  as  I  have  in  the 
past."  He  saw  "no  need  to  curtail  any  such  activities  in  the  national 
security  field."  *®® 

In  line  with  that  policy,  Katzenbach  approved  FBI  requests  for 
wiretaps  on  the  Student  Non-Violent  Coordinating  Committee,*^^ 
Students  for  a  Democratic  Society,*^"  the  editor  of  an  anti-communist 
newsletter,* ^^  a  Washington  attorney  with  whom  the  editor  was  in 
frequent  contact,*''^  a  Klan  official ,*^^  and  a  leader  of  the  black  Revolu- 
tionary Action  Movement.*^*  According  to  FBI  records,  Katzenbach 
also  initialed  three  memoranda  informing  him  of  microphone  surveil- 
lances of  Dr.  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr.*^^ 

'^Memorandum  from  NSA  MINARET  Charter,  7/1/69. 

**"  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Katzenbach,  3/30/65. 

*®^  Memorandum  from  President  Johnson  to  Heads  of  Departments,  6/30/65. 

**"  Memorandum  from  Katzenbach  to  Hoover,  9/27/65 ;  Supplemental  Memo- 
randum to  the  Supreme  Court  in  Black  v.  United  States,  July  13,  1966. 

Katzenbach  also  stated  to  Hoover  that  while  he  believed  such  techniques 
could  be  properly  used  in  cases  involving  organized  crime,  he  would  not  approve 
any  such  requests  in  the  immediate  future  "in  liffht  of  the  present  atmosphere." 

*^  Memorandum  from  Katzenbach  to  Hoover,  9/27/65. 

**  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Katzenbach,  6/15/65. 

**"  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Katzenbach,  5/25/65. 

**'  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Katzenbach,  4/19/65,  .see  footnote  266. 

"^  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Katzenbach,  6/7/65,  see  footnote  266. 

**'  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Katzenbach,  9/28/64. 

***  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Katzenbach,  3/3/65. 

"^Memoranda  from  Hoover  to  Katzenbach,  5/17/65,  10/19/65,  12/1/65. 


There  were  no  similar  electronic  surveillance  authorizations  by 
Attorney  General  Ramsey  Clark  in  cases  involving  purely  domestic 
"national  security"  considerations.^^*'  Clark  has  stated  that  his  policy 
was  "to  confine  the  area  of  approval  to  international  activities  directly 
related  to  the  military  security  of  the  United  States/^'^ 

(2)  Omnibus  Grime  Control  Act  of  1968. — In  response  to  a  1967 
Supreme  Court  decision  that  required  judicial  warrants  for  the  use  of 
electronic  surveillance  in  criminal  cases,*^^  Congress  enacted  the  Omni- 
bus Crime  Control  Act  of  1968.  This  Act  established  warrant  proce- 
dures for  wiretapping  and  microphone  surveillances,  but  it  included  a 
provision  that  neither  it  nor  the  Federal  Communications  Act  of  1934 
"shall  limit  the  constitutional  power  of  the  President."  ^^^  Although 
Congress  did  not  purport  to  define  the  President's  power,^°°  the  Act 
suggested  five  broad  categories  in  which  warrantless  electronic  sur- 
veillance might  be  permitted.  The  first  three  categories  related  to 
foreign  intelligence  and  counterintelligence  matters : 

(1)  to  protect  the  nation  against  actual  or  potential  attack 
or  other  hostile  acts  of  a  foreign  power; 

(2)  to  obtain  foreign  intelligence  information  deemed  essen- 
tial to  the  security  of  the  United  States;  and 

(3)  to  protect  national  security  information  against  for- 
eign intelligence  activities. 

The  last  two  categories  dealt  with  domestic  intelligence  interests : 

(4)  to  protect  the  United  States  against  overthrow  of  the 
government  by  force  or  other  unlawful  means,  or 

(5)  against  any  other  clear  and  present  danger  to  the  struc- 
ture or  existence  of  the  government. 

Thus,  although  Congress  suggested  criteria  for  warrantless  electronic 
surveillance  for  intelligence  purposes,  it  left  to  the  courts  the  task  of 
defining  the  scope  of  the  national  security  exception,  if  any,  to  the 
warrant  requirement. 

Between  1969  and  1972,  the  Nixon  administration  used  these  criteria 
to  justify  a  number  of  questionable  wiretaps.  One  New  Left  organiza- 
tion was  tapped  because,  among  other  factors,  its  members  desired 
to  "take  the  radical  politics  they  learned  on  campus  and  spread  them 
among  factory  workers."  ^°^  Four  newsmen  were  wiretapped  or  bugged 
during  this  period,  as  were  sixteen  executive  branch  officials,  one 

^**' For  example,  Clark  turned  down  FBI  requests  to  wiretap  the  National 
Mobilization  Committee  Office  for  Demonstrations  at  the  Democratic  National 
Convention  in  Chicago  in  1968.  (Memoranda  from  Hoover  to  Clark  3/11/68, 
3/22/68,  6/11/68).  Clark  decided  that  there  was  not  "an  adequate  demonstration 
of  a  direct  threat  to  the  national  security."  (Clark  to  Hoover,  3/12/68)  (These 
memoranda  appear  at  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  pp.  740-755. 

*®'' Clark  has  stated  that  he  denied  requests  "to  tap  Abba  Eban  when  he  was 
on  a  visit  to  this  country,  an  employee  of  the  United  Nations  Secretariat,  the 
Organization  of  Arab  Students  in  the  TT.S..  the  Tanzanian  Mission  to  the  T^N.. 
the  offif^e  of  the  Agricultural  Counselor  at  the  Soviet  Embassy  and  a  correspondent 
of  TASS."  [Statement  of  Former  Attorney  General  Ramsey  Clark,  Hearings 
before  the  Subcommittee  on  Administrative  Practice  and  Procedure,  Committee 
on  the  Judiciary,  TTnited  States  Sennte    (1974).! 

*^  Katz  V.  Umtcd  States,  897  U.S.  347  (1967).  This  case  explicitly  left  open 
the  question  of  warrantless  electronic  surveillance  in  "situation (s)  involving 
the  national  secnritv."  (397  U.S.,  at  358  n.  23.) 

''MR  U.S.C.  2511(3). 

^""See  ZJnitPd  States  v.  United  States  Distriet  Court.  407  U.S.  297  (1972). 

^^  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Mitchell,  3/16/70. 


former  executive  official,  and  a  relative  of  an  executive  official."  ^°^ 
There  were  numerous  wiretaps  and  some  microphones  used  against  the 
Black  Panther  Party  and  similar  domestic  groups.^"^  Attorney  Gen- 
eral Jolm  Mitchell  approved  FBI  requests  for  wiretaps  on  organiza- 
tions involved  in  planning  the  November  1969  antiwar  "March  on 
Washington,"  including  the  moderate  Vietnam  Moratorium  Com- 

(3)  Supreme  Court  Restrictions  on  National  Security  Electronic 
Surveillance :  1972. — ^^The  issue  of  national  security  electronic  surveil- 
lance was  not  addressed  by  the  Supreme  Court  until  1972,  when  it  held 
in  the  so-called  Keith  case  that  the  President  did  not  have  the  "con- 
stitutional power"  to  authorize  warrantless  electronic  surveillance  to 
protect  the  security  of  the  nation  from  "domestic"  threats.^"*  The  Court 
still  remained  silent,  however,  on  the  legality  of  warrantless  electronic 
surveillance  where  there  was  a  "significant  connection  with  a  foreign 
power,  its  agents  or  agencies."  ^°^  As  a  result  of  this  decision,  the  Jus- 
tice Department  eliminated  as  criteria  for  the  use  of  warrantless  elec- 
tronic surveillance  the  two  categories,  described  by  Congress  in  the 
1968  Act,  dealing  with  domestic  intelligence  interests.^"^ 

h.  CIA  Mail  Opening 
Although  Director  Hoover  terminated  the  FBI's  own  mail  opening 
programs  in  1966,  the  Bureau's  use  of  the  CIA  program  continued.  In 
1969,  upon  the  recommendation  of  the  official  in  charge  of  the  CIA's 
CHAOS  program,  the  FBI  began  submitting  names  of  domestic  po- 
litical radicals  and  black  militants  to  the  CIA  for  inclusion  on  its  mail 
opening  "Watch  List."  ^"^  By  1972,  the  FBI's  list  of  targets  for  CIA 
mail  opening  included : 

New  Left  activists,  extremists,  and  other  subversives. 

Extremist  and  New  Left  organizations. 

Protest  and  peace  organizations,  such  as  People's  Coalition 
for  Peace  and  Justice,  National  Peace  Action  Committee,  and 
Women's  Strike  for  Peace. 

Subversive  and  extremist  groups,  such  as  the  Black  Pan- 
thers, White  Panthers,  Black  Nationalists  and  Liberation 
Groups,  Students  for  a  Democratic  Society,  Resist,  Revolu- 
tionary Union,  and  other  New  Left  Groups. 

^  See  Findings  C  and  E.  pp.  183  and  225. 

^^  For  example,  at  one  time  in  March  1971  the  FBI  was  conducting  one  micro- 
phone surveillance  of  Black  Panther  Party  leader  Huey  Newton,  seven  wire- 
taps of  Black  Panther  Party  offices  including  Newton's  residence,  one  wiretap 
on  another  hlack  extremist  group,  one  wiretap  on  .Jewish  Defense  League  head- 
quarters, one  wiretap  on  a  "New  Left  extremist  group",  and  two  wiretaps  on 
"New  Left  extremist  activities."  (Memorandum  from  W.  R.  Wannall  to  C.  D. 
Brennan,  ,3/29/71,  printed  in  Hearings.  Vol.  II,  pp.  270-271.) 

^■^  Memoranda  from  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Mitchell,  11/5/69  and 
11/7/69.  This  and  other  aspects  of  electronic  surveillance  in  this  period  are 
di.scussed  in  Findings  C  and  E  in  greater  detail,  pp.  183  and  225. 

^  rnitcd  FifaicH  v.  Uuifed  Statesi  Dif^trict  Court.  407  U.S.  297  (1972). 

^Fnifrd  f^tnfrs  v.  United  S!tatcf<  District  Cniirt.  407  U.S..  at  309   (1972). 

^^Nlemorandum  from  William  Olson  to  Elliott  Richardson.  .Tune  1973.  Until 
1975.  however,  the  .Justice  Department  stretched  the  term  "connection  with  a 
foreign  power"  to  include  domestic  groups,  such  as  the  .Jewish  Defense  League, 
whose  protest  actions  against  a  foreign  nation  were  helieved  to  threaten  the 
JT^nited  States'  relations  with  that  nation.  [Zwcihon  v.  Mitchell,  516  F.  2d  594 
(D.r.  Cir.  1975).] 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI/CIA  Liaison  Agent  to  D.  J.  Brennan,  1/16/69. 


Traffic  to  and  from  Puerto  Rico  and  the  Virgin  Islands 
showing  anti-U.S.  or  subversive  sympathies.^"^ 

Thus,  the  mail  opening  program  that  began  fourteen  years  earlier  as  a 
means  of  discovering  hostile  intelligence  efforts  in  the  United  States 
had  expanded  to  encompass  communications  of  domestic  dissidents  of 
all  types. 

c.  Expansion  of  NSA  Monitoring 

Although  NSA  began  to  intercept  and  disseminate  the  communica- 
tions of  selected  Americans  in  the  early  1960s,  the  systematic  inclu- 
sion of  a  wide  range  of  American  names  on  the  "Watch  List"  did  not 
occur  until  1967. 

The  Army  Chief  of  Staff  for  Intelligence  requested  "any  informa- 
tion on  a  continuing  basis"  that  NSA  might  intercept  concerning : 

A.  Indications  that  foreign  governments  or  individuals  or 
organizations  acting  as  agents  of  foreign  governments  are 
controlling  or  attempting  to  control  or  influence  the  activities 
of  U.S.  "peace"  groups  and  "Black  Power"  organizations. 

B.  Identities  of  foreign  agencies  exerting  control  or  influ- 
ence on  U.S.  organizations. 

C.  Identities  of  individuals  and  organizations  in  U.S.  in 
contact  with  agents  of  foreign  governments. 

D.  Instructions  or  advice  being  given  to  U.S.  groups  by 
agents  of  foreign  governments.^"^ 

Two  years  later,  NSA  issued  an  internal  instruction  intended  to 
ensure  the  secrecv  of  the  fact  that  it  was  monitorins:  and  disseminat- 
ing communications  to  and  from  Americans.^"  This  memorandum 
described  the  ""VVatch  List"  program  in  terms  which  indicated  that 
it  had  widened  beyond  its  originally  broad  mandate.  In  addition  to 
describing  the  program  as  covering  foreigners  who  "are  attempting" 
to  "influence,  coordinate  or  control"  U.S.  groups  or  individuals  who 
"may  foment  civil  disturbance  or  otherwise  undermine  the  national 
security  of  the  LT.S.,"  the  memorandum  indicated  that  the  program 
intercepted  communications  dealing  with : 

Information  on  U.S.  organizations  or  indi\nduals  who  are 
engaged  in  activities  which  may  result  in  civil  disturbances 
or  otherwise  subvert  the  national  security  of  the  U.S.^" 

This  standard,  which  was  clearly  outside  the  foreign  intelligence 
mandate  of  NSA,  resulted  in  sweeping  coverage.  Communications 
such  as  the  following  were  intercepted,  disseminated,  and  stored  in 
Government  files:  discussion  of  a  peace  concert;  the  interest  of  the 
wife  of  a  U.S.  Senator  in  peace  causes ;  a  correspondent's  report  from 
Southeast  Asia  to  his  magazine  in  New  York ;  an  anti-war  activist's 
request  for  a  speaker  in  New  York. 

According  to  testimony  before  the  Committee,  the  material  which 
resulted  from  the  "Watch  List"  was  of  little  intelligence  value ;  most 

^Routing  Slip  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  James  Angleton  (attachment), 

'<*  DOD  Cable,  Tarborough  to  Carter,  10/20/67. 

""  NSA's  name,  for  example,  was  to  be  kept  off  any  of  the  disseminated 

"^MINARET  Charter,  7/1/69. 


intercepted  commimications  were  of  a  private  or  personal  nature  or 
involved  rallies  and  demonstrations  that  were  public  knowledge.^^^ 

d.  FBI  Cutbacks 

The  reasons  for  J.  Edgar  Hoover's  cutback  in  1966  on  FBI  use  of 
several  covert  techniques  are  not  clear.  Hoover's  former  assistants 
have  cited  widely  divergent  factors. 

Certainly  by  the  mid-1960s.  Hoover  was  highly  sensitive  to  the 
possibility  of  damage  to  the  FBI  from  public  exposure  of  its  most 
intrusive  intelligence  techniques.  This  sensitivity  was  reflected  in  a 
memorandum  to  Attorney  General  Katzenbach  in  September  1965, 
where  Hoover  referred  to  "the  present  atmosphere"  of  "Congressional 
and  public  alarm  and  opposition  to  any  activity  which  could  in  any 
way  be  teraied  an  invasion  of  privacy."  ^^^  The  FBI  Director  was 
particularly  concerned  about  an  inquiry  by  the  Subcommittee  on 
Administrative  Practice  and  Procedure  of  the  Senate  Judiciary  Com- 
mittee chaired  by  Senator  Edward  Long. 

(1)  The  Long  Suhcommiftee  Investigation. — The  Senate  Subcom- 
mittee was  primarily  investigating  electronic  surv^eillance  and  mail 
cover.  The  Bureau  was  seen  as  a  major  subject  of  the  inquiry,  al- 
though the  Internal  Revenue  Service  and  other  Executive  agencies 
were  also  included. 

In  February  1965,  President  Johnson  asked  Attorney  General 
Katzenbach  to  coordinate  all  matters  relating  to  the  investigation, 
and  Katzenbach  then  met  with  senior  FBI  officials  to  discuss  the 
problems  it  raised.^^^  According  to  a  memorandum  by  A.  H.  Belmont, 
one  of  the  FBI  Director's  principal  assistants,  Katzenbach  stated 
that  he  planned  to  see  Senator  Edward  Long,  the  Subcommittee 
chairman,  for  the  purpose  of  "impressing  on  him  that  the  committee 
would  not  want  to  stumble  by  mistake  into  an  area  of  extreme  inter- 
est to  the  national  security."  According  to  Belmont,  the  Attomey 
General  added  that  he  "might  have  to  resort  to  pressure  from  the 
President"  and  that  he  did  not  want  the  Subcommittee  to  "under- 
mine the  restricted  and  tightly  controlled  operations  of  the  Bureau." 
FBI  officials  had  assured  Katzenbach  that  their  activities  were,  in- 
deed, "tightly  controlled"  and  restricted  to  "important  security 
matters."  ^^^ 

The  following  note  on  the  memorandum  of  this  meeting  provides 
a  sign  of  Director  Hoover's  attitude  at  that  time : 

I  don't  see  what  all  the  excitement  is  about.  I  would  have  no 
hesitancy  in  discontinuing  all  techniques — ^technical  cover- 
age, microphones,  trash  covers,  mail  covers,  etc.  "V^Tiile  it 
mi.qht  handicap  us  I  doubt  they  are  as  valuable  as  some 

'^'W.  R.  Wnnnall  (TBI  Assistant  Director  for  Intelliffence).  10/3/75.  p.  13. 
"Tlie  feeling  is  tliat  there  was  very  little  in  the  way  of  good  product  as  a  result  of 
our  hiving  supplied  names  to  NSA." 

^Memornndum  from  Hoover  to  Katzenhach.  O/l-^/GS.  This  memorandum  dealt 
specifically  with  electronic  sur^'eillance  and  did  not  mention  mail  openings  or 
"Black  Bag  .Tohs."  Hoover  said  the  FBI  had  "discontinuefl"  microphone  surveil- 
lances Chugs),  a  restriction  which  xVttorney  General  Katzenbach  said  went  too 
far.  (Kntzenhaph  to  Hoover.  9/27/65.) 

"^Memor.nndnm  from  A.  H.  Belmont  to  Mr.  Tolson,  2/27/65.  Katzenbach  testi- 
mouv.  12/3/75.  Hearings.  Vol.  6.  p.  204. 

^"  Memorandum  from  A.  H.  Belmont  to  C.  Tolson,  2/27/65. 


believe  and  none  warrant  the  FBI  being  used  to  justify 

Several  days  later,  according  to  a  memorandum  of  the  FBI  Director, 
the  Attorney  (ienerai  "aavised  that  he  had  tallied  to  benator  I^ong," 
and  that  tlie  beiiator  "saia  lie  did  not  want  to  get  into  any  national 
security  area."  ^^'^  Katzenbach  has  conhrmed  that  he  "would  have  been 
concerned"  in  these  circumstances  about  the  Subcommittee  s  demands 
for  information  about  "matters  of  a  national  security  nature-'  and  that 
he  was  "declining  to  provide  such  information"  to  Long.^^'^ 

Again  in  196(5,  the  FBI  took  steps  to,  in  the  words  of  Bureau  of- 
ficial Cartha  DeLoach,  "neutralize"  the  ''threat  of  being  embarrassed 
by  the  Long  Subcommittee."  ^-°  This  time  the  issue  involved  war- 
rantless electronic  surveillance  by  the  FBI,  particularly  in  organized 
crime  matters.  DeLoach  and  another  ranking  Bureau  official  visited 
Senator  Long  to  urge  that  he  issue  a  statement  that  "the  FBI  had 
never  participated  in  uncontrolled  usage  of  wiretaps  or  microphones 
and  that  FBI  usage  of  such  devices  had  been  completely  justified  in  all 
instances."  ^^^  The  Bureau  prepared  such  a  statement  for  Senator 
Long  to  release  as  his  own,  which  apparently  was  not  used."-  At 
another  meeting  with  DeLoach,  Senator  Long  agreed  to  make  "a 
commitment  that  he  would  in  no  way  embarrass  the  FBI."  When  the 
Subcommittee's  Chief  Counsel  asked  if  a  Bureau  spokesman  could 
appear  and  "make  a  simple  statement,"  DeLoach  replied  that  this 
would  "open  a  Pandora's  box,  in  so  far  as  our  enemies  in  the  press 
were  concerned."  Senator  Long  then  stated  that  he  would  call  no 
FBI  witnesses.^2^ 

(2)  Director  Hoover'' 8  Restrictions. — The  Director  subsequently 
issued  instructions  that  the  number  of  warrantless  wiretaps  installed 
at  any  one  time  be  cut  in  half.  One  of  his  subordinates  speculated 
that  this  was  done  out  of  a  concern  that  the  Subcommittee's  "inquiry 
might  get  into  the  use  of  that  technique  by  the  FBI."  "* 

In  July  1966,  after  hundreds  of  FBI  "black  bag  job"  operations 
had  been  approved  over  many  years.  Director  Hoover  decided  to 
eliminate  warrantless  surreptitious  entries  for  purposes  other  than 
microphone  installations.^^s  jj^  response  to  an  Intelligence  Division 
analysis  that  such  break-ins  were  an  "invaluable  technique,"  although 
"clearly  illegal,"  Hoover  stated  that  "no  more  such  techniques  must 
be  used."  "^  Bureau  subordinates  took  Hoover's  "no  more  such  tech- 

"■^  Hoover  Note  on  Belmont  Memorandum  to  Tolson,  2/27/65. 

^®  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Tolson,  et  al.,  3/2/65. 

*"•  Katzenbach  testimony.  12/3/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  pp.  205-206. 

^'"'  Memorandum  from  DeLoach  to  Tolson,  1/21/66. 

^'^  Memorandum  from  DeLoach  to  Tols-^n.  1/10/66. 

^  Memorandum  from  M.  A.  Jones  to  Robert  Wick,  1/11/66. 

"^  Memorandum  from  DeLoach  to  Tolson,  1/21/66. 

^C.  D.  Brennan  deposition.  9/23/75,  p.  42. 

^According  to  FBI  records  and  the  recollections  of  Bureau  agents,  the  fol- 
lowing number  of  microphone  surveillances  involving  "surreptitious  entry"  were 
installed  in  "internal  secvirity.  intelligence,  and  coimterintelligence"  investiga- 
tions :  1964  :  80 :  1965  :  59  :  1966 :  4  :  1967 :  0 :  1968  :  9  :  1969  :  S  :  1970  :  15  :  1971 :  6 
1972  :  22  :  1973  :  18  :  1974  :  9 :  1975  :  13.  The  similar  figures  for  "criminal  investiga 
tions"   (including  installations  authorized  bv  judicial  warrant  after  1968)  are 
1964  :  83  :  1965  :  41 ;  1966  :  0 ;  1967 :  0 :  1968 :  0 :  1969 :  3  :  1970 :  8  :  1971 :  7 :  1972 
19-  1973:  27;  1974:  22;  1975:  11.  (Memorandum  from  FBI  to  Select  Committee 

"'Hoover  note  on  memorandum  from  Sullivan  to  DeLoach,  7/19/66.  This 
memorandum  cited  as  a  "prime  example"  of  the  utilitv  of  a  "black  bag  jobs"  a 
break-in  to  steal  records  of  three  high-ranking  Klan  oflBcials  relating  to  finances 


niques"  language  as  an  injunction  against  the  Bureau's  mail  opening 
program  as  well.^-^  Apparently,  a  termination  order  was  issued  to 
field  offices  by  telephone.  FBI  mail-opening  was  suspended,  al- 
though the  Bureau  continued  to  seek  information  from  CIA's  illegal 
mail-opening  program  until  its  suspension  in  1973. 

A  year  and  a  half  before  Hoover's  cutbacks  on  wire-tapping,  "black 
bag  jobs,"  and  mail-opening,  he  prohibited  the  FBI's  use  of  other 
covert  techniques  such  as  mail  covers  and  trash  covers.^^^ 

FBI  intelligence  officials  persisted  in  requesting  authority  for  "black 
bag"  techniques.  In  1967  Director  Hoover  ordered  that  "no  such  rec- 
ommendations should  be  submitted."  ^-^  At  about  this  time.  Attorney 
General  Ramsey  Clark  was  asked  to  approve  a  "breaking  and  enter- 
ing" operation  and  declined  to  do  so.^^°  There  was  an  apparently  un- 
authorized surreptitious  entry  directed  at  a  "domestic  subversive  tar- 
get" as  late  as  April,  1968.^^^  A  proposal  from  the  field  to  resume  mail 
opening  for  foreign  counterintelligence  purposes  was  turned  down  by 
FBI  officials  in  1970.^^2 

7.  Accountahility  and  Control 

a.  Tlie  Huston  Plan:  A  Domestic  Intelligence  Network 

In  1970,  pressures  from  the  TNHiite  House  and  from  within  the  in- 
telligence community  led  to  the  formulation  of  a  plan  for  coordination 
and  expansion  of  domestic  intelligence  activity.  The  so-called  "Huston 
Plan"  called  for  Presidential  authorization  of  illegal  intelligence  tech- 
niques, expanded  domestic  intelligence  collection,  and  centralized  eval- 
uation of  domestic  intelligence.  President  Nixon  approved  the  plan  and 
then,  five  days  later,  revoked  his  approval.  Despite  the  revocation  of 
official  approval,  many  major  aspects  of  the  plan  were  implemented, 
and  some  techniques  which  the  intelligence  community  asked  for 
permission  to  implement  had  already  been  underway. 

In  1970,  there  was  an  intensification  of  the  social  tension  in  America 
that  had  provided  the  impetus  in  the  1960s  for  ever- widening  domestic 
intelligence  operations.  The  spring  invasion  of  Cambodia  by  United 
States  forces  triggered  the  most  extensive  campus  demonstrations  and 
student  "strikes"  in  the  history  of  the  war  in  Southeast  Asia.  Domestic 
strife  heightened  even  further  when  four  students  were  killed  by  Na- 

and  membership  which  "we  have  been  using  most  effectively  to  disrupt  the 

^^"Wannall,  10/13/75,  pp.  45-46.  There  is  to  this  day  no  formal  order  pro- 
hibiting FBI  mail-opening,  although  Assistant  Director  Wannall  contended  that 
general  FBI  ^Manual  instructions  now  applicable  forbid  any  unlawful  technique. 

^^  These  techniques  were  not  prohibited  by  law.  Their  use  was  banned  in  all 
cases,  including  serious  criminal  investigations  and  foreign  counterintelligence 
matters.  (Memorandum  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  A.  H.  Belmont.  9/30/64.)  Mail 
covers,  which  may  be  used  to  identify  from  their  exteriors  certain  letters  which 
can  then  be  opened  with  a  .iudicial  warrant,  were  reinstituted  with  Justice  De- 
partment approval  in  1971.  (^Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Mitchell,  7/27/71; 
Memorandum  from  Assistant  Attorney  General  Will  Wilson  to  Hoover,  9/31/71.) 

^^  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Tolson  and  DeLoach,  1/6/67. 

^^  "Once  Mr.  Hoover,  apparently  at  the  request  of  the  National  Security  Agency, 
sought  approval  to  break  and  enter  into  a  foreign  mission  at  the  United  Nations 
to  procure  cryptographic  materials  to  facilitate  decoding  of  intercepted  trans- 
missions. The  request  was  presented  with  some  urgency,  rejected  and  presented 
again  on  perhaps  several  occasions.  It  was  never  approved  and  constituted  the 
only  request  of  that  kind."  [Statement  of  former  Attorney  General  Ramsey  Clark, 
Hearings  before  the  Senate  Judiciary  Subcommittee  on  Administrative  Practice 
and  Procedure.  (1974).! 

°^  Memorandum  from  FBI  to  Senate  Select  Committee,  2/23/75. 

^*  Memorandum  from  W.  A.  Branigan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  3/31/70. 


tional  Guardsmen  at  Kent  State  University.  Within  one  twenty-four 
hour  period,  there  were  400  bomb  threats  in  New  York  City  alone.  To 
respond,  White  House  Chief  of  Staff,  H.  K.  Haldeman,  assigned  prin- 
cipal responsibility  for  domestic  intelligence  planning  to  staff  assist- 
ant Tom  Charles  Huston.^^s 

Since  June  1969,  Huston  had  been  in  touch  with  the  head  of  the 
FBI  Domestic  Intelligence  Division,  Assistant  Director  William  C. 
Sullivan.  Huston  initially  contacted  Sullivan  on  President  Nixon's  be- 
half to  request  "all  information  possibly  relating  to  foreign  influences 
and  financing  of  the  New  Left."  ^^^  Huston  also  made  similar  requests 
to  CIA,  NSA,  and  the  Defense  Intelligence  Agency.  The  quality  of 
the  data  provided  by  these  agencies,  especially  the  FBI,  had  failed  to 
satisfy  Huston  and  Presidential  assistant  John  Ehrlichman.^^^  There- 
after, Huston's  continued  discussions  with  Assistant  Director  Sulli- 
van convinced  him  that  the  restraints  imposed  upon  domestic  intelli- 
gence techniques  by  Director  Hoover  impeded  the  collection  of  im- 
portant information  about  dissident  activity. ^^^ 

(1)  Intelligence  Commumty  Pressures. — The  interest  of  the  White 
House  in  better  intelligence  about  domestic  protest  activity  coincided 
with  growing  dissatisfaction  among  the  foreign  intelligence  agencies 
with  the  FBI  Director's  restrictions  on  their  performance  of  foreign 
intelligence  functions  in  America.^^^ 

The  CIA's  concerns  crystallized  in  March  1970  when — as  a  result 
of  a  "flap"  over  the  CIA's  refusal  to  disclose  information  to  the 
FBI— Hoover  issued  an  order  that  "direct  liaison"  at  FBI  head- 
quarters with  CIA  "be  terminated"  and  that  "any  contact  with  CIA 
in  the  future"  was  to  take  place  "by  letter  only."  ^^^  This  order  did 
not  bar  interagencj^  communication ;  secure  telephones  were  installed 
and  working-level  contacts  continued.  But  the  position  of  FBI 
"liaison  agent"  with  CIA  was  eliminated.^^^ 

CIA  Director  Helms  subsequently  attempted  to  reopen  the  question 
of  FBI  cooperation  with  CIA  requests  for  installing  electronic 
surveillances  and  covering  mail.^*°  Hoover  replied  that  he  agreed  with 
Helms  that  there  should  be  expanded  "exchange  of  information  be- 
tween our  agencies  concerning  New  Left  and  racial  extremist  mat- 
ters." However,  he  refused  the  request  for  aid  with  electronic  sur- 
veillance and  mail  coverage.  Hoover  cited  the  "widespread  concern 

^  Memorandum  from  John  R.  Brown  to  H.  R.  Haldeman,  4/30/70. 

^  Memorandum  from  Sullivan  to  DeLoach,  6/20/69 ;  Memorandum  from  Hus- 
ton to  Hoover.  6/20/69. 

^  Tom  Charles  Huston  testimony,  5/23/75,  p.  19. 

^  Huston.  5/23/75,  pp.  23,  28. 

^  Helms  deposition,  9/10/75,  p.  3 ;  Bennett  deposition,  8/5/75,  p.  12 ;  Gayler 
deposition,  6/19/75,  pp.  6-7.  As  early  as  1963,  the  FBI  Director  had  successfully 
opposed  a  proposal  to  the  President's  Foreign  Intelligence  Advisory  Board  by 
CIA  Director  John  McCone  for  expanded  domestic  wiretapping  for  foreign 
intelligence  purposes.  (Memorandum  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  C.  D.  DeLoach. 
3/7/70).  In  1969.  CIA  Director  Richard  Helms  was  told  by  the  Bureau,  when  he 
asked  it  to  institute  electronic  surveillance  on  behalf  of  the  CIA,  that  he  should 
"refer  such  reqiiests  directly  to  Attorney  General  for  approval."  (Memorandum 
from  Sullivan  to  DeLoach,  3/30/70.)  The  administrators  of  NSA  also  failed  to 
persuade  Director  Hoover  to  lift  his  restraints  on  foreign  intelligence  electronic 
surveillance.    (Staff  summary  of  Louis  Tordella  interview,  6/16/75.) 

^  Note  bv  Hoover  on  letter  from  Helms  to  Hoover.  2/26/70. 

^^  Former  FBI  Liaison  with  CIA  testimony.  9/22/7.5.  p.  3. 

""Memorandum  from  Sullivan  to  DeLoach,  3/30/70,  pp.  1-2,  4. 


by  the  American  public  regarding;  the  possible  misuse  of  this  type  of 
coverage."  Their  use  in  "domestic  investigations'"  posed  legal  problems 
not  encountered  "in  similar  operations  abroad."  Hoover  added,  "The 
FBI's  eifectiveness  has  always  depended  in  large  measure  on  our 
capacity  to  retain  the  full  confidence  of  the  American  people."  ^^^ 

(2)  The  Interagency  Committee  Report. — In  the  following  months, 
Tom  Charles  Huston  arranged  a  meeting  between  President  Nixon 
and  the  directors  of  the  FBI,  CIA,  NSA,  and  DIA  on  June  5,  1970.^^- 
The  President's  emphasis  was  upon  improved  coordination  among  the 
agencies  to  strengthen  their  capabilities  to  collect  intelligence  about 
"revolutionary  activism"  and  "the  support — ideological  and  other- 
wise— of  foreign  powers"  for  these  activities.  The  talking  paper 
prepared  by  Huston  for  the  President  to  read  at  the  meeting  declared, 
"We  are  now  confronted  wnth  a  new  and  grave  crisis  in  our  country — 
one  which  we  know  too  little  about.^^^ 

From  this  meeting  emanated  the  Special  Report  of  the  Interagency 
Committee  on  Intelligence  (Ad  Hoc),  prepared  jointly  by  representa- 
tives of  the  FBI,  CIA,  NSA,  and  DIA,  and  submitted  to  the  President 
a  month  later.^^^  The  report  presented  the  President  a  series  of  options, 
and  Huston  recommended  that  the  President  approve  the  following : 

(1)  "coverage  by  NSA  of  the  communications  of  U.S. 
citizens  using  international  facilities;" 

(2)  "intensification"  of  "electronic  surveillances  and  pene- 
trations" directed  at  individuals  and  groups  "who  pose  a 
major  threat  to  the  internal  security"  and  at  "foreign  na- 
tionals" in  the  United  States  "of  interest  to  the  intelligence 
community ;" 

(3)  removal  of  restrictions  on  "legal"  mail  coverage  and 
relaxation  of  "restrictions  on  covert  coverage"  [mail  open- 
ing] on  "selected  targets  of  priority  foreign  intelligence  and 
internal  security  interest;" 

(4)  modification  of  "present  restrictions"  on  "surreptitious 
entry"  to  allow  "procurement  of  vitally  needed  foreign  cryp- 
tographic material"  and  "to  permit  selective  use"  against 
"high  priority  internal  security  targets;" 

(5)  relaxation  of  "present  restrictions"  on  the  "develop- 
ment of  campus  sources"  to  permit  "expanded  coverage  of 
violence-prone  and  student-related  groups;' 

(6)  "increased"  coverage  by  CIA  "of  American  students 
(and  others)  traveling  or  living  abroad;"  * 

(7)  appointment  of  a  "permanent  committee  consisting  of 
the  FBI,  CIA,  NSA,  DIA,  and  the  military  counterintelli- 
gence agencies"  to  evaluate  "domestic  intelligence"  and  to 
"carry  out  the  other  objectives  specified  in  the  report."  ^*^ 

Huston  also  raised  and  dismissed  questions  about  the  legality  of 
two  collection  techniques  in  particular.  "Covert  [mail  opening]  cov- 

°"  Memorandum  from  Hoovpr  to  Helms,  3/31/70. 

^  Huston  deposition,  5/23/75,  p.  32. 

^  Presidential  Talking  Paper,  6/5/70,  from  the  Nixon  Papers. 

"^  The  report  was  written  by  the  Research  Section  of  the  FBI  Domestic  Intel- 
ligence Division  on  the  basis  of  committee  decisions  and  FBI  Director  Hoover's 
revisions  (Staff  Summary  of  Richard  Cotter  interview,  9/15/75.) 

^  The  seven  recommendations  were  made  in  an  attachment  to  a  memorandum 
from  Huston  to  Haldeman,  7/70. 

68-786  O  -  76  -  9 


erage  is  illegal,  and  there  are  serious  risks  involved,"  he  wrote.  "How- 
ever, the  advantages  to  be  derived  from  its  use  outweigh  the  risks,"  ^*^ 
As  for  surreptitious  entry,  Huston  advised: 

Use  of  this  technique  is  clearly  illegal :  it  amounts  to  burglary. 
It  is  also  highly  risky  and  could  result  in  great  embarrass- 
ment if  exposed.  However,  it  is  also  the  most  fruitful  tool 
and  can  produce  the  type  of  intelligence  which  cannot  be  ob- 
tained in  any  other  fashion."  ^*^ 

Huston  testified  that  his  recommendations  "reflected  what  I  under- 
stood to  be  the  consensus  of  the  working  group"  of  intelligence 
officials  on  the  interagency  committee.^*^ 

Just  over  a  week  later,  the  FBI,  CIA,  NSA,  and  DIA  were  advised 
by  Huston  that  "the  President  has . . .  made  the  following  decisions" — 
to  adopt  all  of  Huston's  recommendations.^*^  Henceforth,  with  Presi- 
dential authority,  the  intelligence  community  could  intercept  the 
international  communications  of  Americans ;  eavesdrop  electronically 
on  anyone  deemed  a  "threat  to  the  internal  security ;"  read  the  mail  of 
American  citizens;  break  into  the  homes  of  anyone  regarded  as  a 
security  threat ;  and  monitor  the  activities  of  student  political  groups 
at  home  and  abroad. 

There  is  no  indication  that  the  President  was  informed  at  this  time 
that  NSA  was  already  covering  the  international  communications  of 
Americans  and  had  been  doing  so  for  domestic  intelligence  purposes 
since  at  least  1967.  Nor  is  there  any  indication  that  he  was  told  that  the 
CIA  was  opening  the  mail  of  Americans  and  sharing  the  contents  with 
the  FBI  and  the  military  for  domestic  intelligence  purposes.  In  effect, 
the  "Huston  plan"  supplied  Presidential  authority  for  operations  pre- 
viously undertaken  in  secret  without  such  authorization.  For  instance, 
the  plan  gave  FBI  Assistant  Director  Sullivan  the  "support"  from 
"responsible  quarters"  which  he  had  believed  necessary  to  resume  the 
"black  bag  jobs"'  and  mail-opening  programs  Director  Hoover  had 
terminated  in  1966.^^° 

Nevertheless,  the  FBI  Director  was  not  satisfied  with  Huston's 
memorandum  concerning  the  authorization  of  the  plan.^^^  Hoover 
went  immediately  to  Attorney  General  Mitchell,  who  had  not  known 
of  the  prior  deliberations  or  the  President's  "decisions."  ^^^  In  a  memo- 
randum, Director  Hoover  said  he  would  implement  the  plan,  but  only 
with  the  explicit  approval  of  the  Attorney  General  or  the  President : 

^*^  Memorandum  from  Huston  to  Haldeman,  7/70. 

^"  Memorandum  from  Huston  to  Haldeman.  7/70.  In  using  the  word  "bur- 
glary," Huston  said  he  sought  to  "escalate  the  rhetoric  ...  to  make  it  as 
bold  as  possible."  He  thought  that,  as  a  staff  man,  he  should  give  the  President 
"the  worst  possible  interpretation  of  what  the  recommendation  would  result 
in."  (Huston  deposition.  5/22/75,  p.  69.) 

"^  Huston  deposition.  5/22/75.  p.  8. 

^^^  Memorandum  from  Tom  Charles  Huston  to  Tntelligence  Directors,  7/23/70. 

"™  Memorandum  from  Sullivan  to  DeLoach,  4/14/70. 

^  An  assistant  to  the  head  of  the  Defense  Intelligence  Agency  recalls  agreeing 
with  his  superior  that  the  memorandum  from  Huston  to  the  intelligence  directors 
showed  that  the  White  House  had  "passed  that  one  down  about  as  low  as  they 
could  go"  and  that  the  absence  of  signatures  by  the  President  or  his  top  aides 
indicated  "what  a  hot  potato  it  was."  (Staff  summary  of  James  Stillwell  inter- 
view, 5/21/75.) 

^''  Mitchell  testimony,  10/24/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  4,  p.  122. 


Despite  my  clear-cut  and  specific  opposition  to  the  lifting  of 
the  various  investigative  restraints  referred  to  above  and  to 
the  creation  of  a  permanent  interagency  committee  on  do- 
mestic intelligence,  the  FBI  is  prepared  to  implement  the 
instructions  of  the  White  House  at  your  direction.  Of  course, 
we  would  continue  to  seek  your  specific  authorization,  where 
appropriate,  to  utilize  the  various  sensitive  investigative 
techniques  involved  in  individual  cases.^^^ 

CIA  Director  Helms  shortly  thereafter  indicated  his  support  for  the 
plan  to  the  Attorney  General,  telling  him  "we  had  put  our  backs  into 
this  exercise."  ^^*  Nonetheless,  Mitchell  advised  the  President  to  with- 
draw his  approval."^  Huston  was  told  to  rescind  his  memorandum, 
and  the  White  House  Situation  Room  dispatched  a  message  requesting 
its  return.^^*' 

(3)  Implementation. — The  President's  withdrawal  of  approval  for 
the  "Huston  plan"  did  not,  in  fact,  result  in  the  termination  of  either 
the  NSA  program  for  covering  the  communications  of  Americans  or 
the  CIA  mail-opening  program.  These  programs  continued  without 
the  formal  authorization  which  had  been  hoped  for.^^''  The  directors 
of  the  CIA  and  NSA  also  continued  to  explore  means  of  expanding 
their  involvement  in,  and  access  to,  domestic  intelligence.^^^  A  new 
group,  the  Intelligence  Evaluation  Committee  (lEC),  was  created  by 
Attorney  General  Mitchell  within  the  Justice  Department  to  consider 
such  expansion.^^^  NSA,  CIA,  Army  counterintelligence,  and  the  FBI 

^°'  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Mitchell,  7/25/70. 

*"  Helms  memorandum  for  the  record,  7/28/70. 

'='  Mitchell.  10/24/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  4,  p.  123. 

^^^  Huston  deposition,  5/23/75,  p.  56 ;  staff  summary  of  David  McManus  inter- 
view, 7/1/75. 

^'  Director  Helms  thinks  he  told  Attorney  General  Mitchell  about  the  CIA 
mail  program.  Helms  also  believes  President  Nixon  may  have  known  tahout  the 
program  although  Helms  did  not  personally  inform  him.  (Helms,  10/22/75, 
Hearings,  Vol.  4,  pp.  88-89.)  Mitchell  denied  that  Helms  told  him  of  a  CIA  mail- 
opening  program  and  testified  that  the  President  had  no  knowledge  of  the 
program,  "at  least  not  as  of  the  time  we  discusvsed  the  Huston  Plan."  (Mitchell, 
9/24/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  4,  pp.  120,  138.) 

°°^  In  March  1971,  NSA  Director  Noel  Gayler  and  CIA  Director  Helms  met  with 
Attorney  General  Mitchell  and  Director  Hoover.  According  to  Hoover's  memo- 
randum of  the  meeting,  it  had  been  arranged  by  Helms  to  discuss  "a  broadening 
of  operations,  particularly  of  the  very  confidential  type  in  covering  intelligence 
botli  domestic  and  foreign."  Hoover  was  again  "not  enthusiastic"  because  of 
"the  hazards  involved."  Mitchell  asked  Helms  and  Gayler  to  prepare  "an  in-depth 
examination"  of  the  collection  methods  they  desired.  (Memorandum  for  the  files 
by  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  4/12/71.)  It  was  less  than  two  months  after  this  meeting 
that,  according  to  a  CIA  memorandum,  Director  Helms  briefed  Mitchell  on  the 
mail  program.  (CIA  memorandum  for  the  record,  6/3/71.)  Even  before  this  meet- 
ing, NSA  Director  Gayler  sent  a  memorandum  to  Attorney  General  Mitchell  and 
Defense  Secretary  Melvin  Laird  describing  "NSA's  Contribution  to  Domestic 
Intelligence."  This  memorandum  refers  to  a  disctission  with  both  Mitchell  and 
Laird  on  how  NSA  could  assist  with  "intelligence  bearing  on  domestic  problems." 
The  memorandum  mentioned  the  monitoring  of  foreign  siipport  for  subversive 
activities,  as  well  as  for  drug  trafficking,  although  it  did  not  discuss  specifically 
the  NSA  "Watch  List"  of  Americans.  (Memorandum  from  NSA  Director  Noel 
Gayler  to  the  Secretary  of  Defense  and  the  Attorney  General.  .lanuary  26,  1971.) 
NSA  official  Benson  Buffham  recorded  that  he  personally  showed  this  memo- 
randum to  Mitcliell  and  had  been  told  by  the  Military  Assistant  to  Secretary 
Laird  that  the  Secretary  had  read  and  agreed  with  it.  (Memorandum  for  the 
record  by  Benson  K.  Buffham.  2/3/71.) 

^^  Memorandum  from  Assistant  Attorney  General  Robert  Mardian  to  Attorney 
General  Mitchell,  12/4/70. 


each  sent  representatives  to  the  lEC.  NSA  Director  Gayler  provided 
the  lEC  with  a  statement  of  NSA's  capabilities  and  procedures  for 
supplying  domestic  intelligence.^^"  Although  the  lEC  merely  evalu- 
ated raw  intelligence  data,  over  90  percent  of  which  came  to  it 
through  the  FBI,  it  had  access  to  domestic  intelligence  from  NSA 
coverage  and  the  CIA's  mail-opening  and  CHAOS  programs,  which 
was  channeled  to  the  FBI.^''^ 

Two  of  the  specific  recommendations  in  the  "Huston  Plan"  were 
thereafter  implemented  by  the  FBI — the  lowering  of  the  age  limit 
for  campus  informants  from  21  to  18  and  the  resumption  of  "legal  mail 
covers."  ^^^  Two  men  who  had  participated  in  developing  the  "Huston 
Plan"  were  promoted  to  positions  of  greater  influence  within  the 
Bureau.^^^  More  important  the  Bureau  greatly  intensified  its  domestic 
intelligence  investigations  in  the  fall  of  1970  without  using  "clearly 
illegal"  techniques.  The  Key  Black  Extremist  Program  was  inaugu- 
rated and  field  offices  were  instructed  to  open  approximately  10,500 
new  investigations,  including  investigations  of  all  black  student  groups 
"regardless  of  their  present  or  past  involvement  in  disorders."  All 
members  of  "militant  New  Left  campus  organizations"  were  also  to  be 
investigated  even  if  they  were  not  "known  to  be  violence  prone."  The 
objective  of  these  investigations  was  "to  identify  potential"  as  well  as 
"actual  extremists."  ^^* 

The  chief  of  the  Domestic  Intelligence  Division  in  1970  said  the 
"Huston  Plan"  had  "nothing  to  do"  with  the  FBI's  expanded  intelli- 
gence activities.  Rather,  both  the  "Huston  Plan"  and  the  Bureau  inten- 
sification represented  the  same  effort  by  FBI  intelligence  officials  "to 
recommend  the  types  of  action  and  programs  which  they  thought 
necessary  to  cope  with  the  problem."  ^^^  Brennan  admits  that  "the  FBI 
was  getting  a  tremendous  amount  of  pressure  from  the  White  House," 
although  he  attributes  this  pressure  to  demands  from  "a  vast  majority 
of  the  American  people"  who  wanted  to  know  "why  something  wasn't 
being  done"  about  violence  and  disruption  in  the  country,^^^ 

&.  Political  Intelligence 

The  FBI  practice  of  supplying  political  information  to  the  Wliite 
House  and,  on  occasion,  responding  to  White  House  requests  for 
such  information  was  established  before  1964.  However,  under  the 
administrations  of  President  Lyndon  Johnson  and  Richard  Nixon, 
this  practice  grew  to  unprecedented  dimensions.^^^ 

(1)  Name  Check  Requests. — White  House  aides  serving  under  Presi- 
dents Johnson  and  Nixon  made  numerous  requests  for  "name  checks" 

'"°  Memorandnm  from  Gayler  to  Laird  and  Mil-ohell.  1/26/71. 

^  For  a  discussion  of  the  FBI  as  "consumer,"  see  pp.  107-109. 

662  rjij-,^  resumption  of  mail  covers  Is  discussed  above  at  footnote  528.  FBI 
field  offices  were  instructed  that  thev  could  recruit  18-21  year-old  informers  in 
September  1970.    (SAC  Letter  No.  70^8,  9/1.5/70.)    See.  p.  76. 

683  rpj^^  \\enA  of  the  FBI  Domestic  Intelligence  Division,  WiUiam  C.  Sullivan, 
was  promoted  to  be  Assistant  to  the  Director  for  all  investi.2:ative  and  intelli- 
gence activities.  His  successor  in  charge  of  the  Domestic  Intelligence  Division 
was  Charles  D.  Brennan. 

^*  Executives  Conference  to  Tolson,  10/29/70 ;  Memorandum  from  FBI  Head- 
quarters to  all  SACs,  11/4/70. 

'^  Brennan  deposition,  9/23/75,  pp.  29-31. 

"'  Brennan  testimony.  9/25/75,  Heirings.  Vol.  2,  p.  108. 

^'The  involvement  of  the  Central  Intelligence  Agency  in  improper  activities 
for  the  White  House  is  described  in  the  Rockefeller  Commission  Report,  Ch.  14. 


of  FBI  files  to  elicit  all  Bureau  information  on  particular  critics  of 
each  administration.  Johnson  aides  requested  such  reports  on  critics 
of  the  escalating  war  in  Vietnam.^*^*  President  Johnson's  assistants 
also  requested  name  checks  on  members  of  the  Senate  staff  of  Presi- 
•dential  candidate  Barry  Goldwater  in  1964,^^^  on  Justice  and  Treasury 
Department  officials  responsible  for  a  phase  of  the  criminal  investi- 
gation of  Johnson's  former  aide  Bobby  Baker,^''^^  on  the  authors  of 
books  critical  of  the  Warren  Commission  report,""  and  on  prominent 
newsmen.^^^  President  Nixon's  aides  asked  for  similar  name  checks 
on  another  newsman,  the  Chainnan  of  Americans  for  Democratic 
Action,  and  the  producer  of  a  film  critical  of  the  President.^"^ 

According  to  a  memorandum  by  Director  Hoover,  Vice  President 
Spiro  Agnew  received  ammunition  from  Bureau  files  that  could  be 
used  in  "destroying  [the]  credibility"  of  Southern  Christian  Lead- 
ership Conference  leader  Reverend  Ralph  Abemathy.^'^^ 

(2)  Democratic  National  Convention^  Atlantic  City^  1964. — On 
August  22,  1964,  at  the  request  of  the  White  House,  the  FBI  sent 
a  "special  squad"  to  the  Democratic  National  Convention  site  in 
Atlantic  City,  New  Jersey.  The  squad  was  assigned  to  assist  the 
Secret  Service  in  protecting  President  Lyndon  Johnson  and  to  ensure 
that  the  convention  itself  Avould  not  be  marred  by  civil  disruption. 

But  it  went  beyond  these  functions  to  report  political  intelligence 
to  the  Wliite  House.  Approximately  30  Special  Agents,  headed  by 
Assistant  Director  Cartha  DeLoach,  "were  able  to  keep  the  White 
House  fully  apprised  of  all  major  developments  during  the  Con- 
vention's course"  by  means  of  "informant  coverage,  by  use  of  various 
confidential  techniques,  by  infiltration  of  key  groups  through  use  of 
undercover  agents,  and  through  utilization  of  agents  using  appro- 
priate cover  as  reporters."  ^''^  Among  these  "confidential  techniques" 
were :  a  wiretap  on  the  hotel  room  occupied  by  Dr.  Martin  Luther 
King,  Jr.,  and  microphone  surveillance  of  a  storefront  serving  as  head- 
quarters for  the  Student  Nonviolent  Coordinating.  Committee  and 
another  civil  rights  organization.^^^ 

^  Letter  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Marvin  Watson,  6/4/65. 

^'^  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Moyers,  10/27/64.  cited  in  FBI  summary 
memorandum,   subject :    Senator  Barry   Goldwater,    1/31/75. 

^^*  Memorandum  from  DeLoach  to  Tolson,  1/17/67. 

^'°  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Marvin  Watson,  11/8/66. 

^^  See  Finding  on  Political  Abuse,  p.  225. 

""Tetter  from  .T.  Edgar  Hoover  to  .Tohn  D.  Ehrlichman.  10/6/69; 
Judiciary  Committee  Hearings,  Statement  of  Information  (1974),  Book  VII, 
p.  1111 ;  Book  VIIT,  p.  18.3.  Director  Hoover  volunteered  information  from 
Bureau  files  to  the  .Johnson  White  House  on  the  -author  of  a  play  satirizing  the 
President.    (Memorandinn  from  Hoover  to  Watson.  1/9/67.) 

'^"  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Tolson.  rt  al.,  .5/18/70.  Agnew  admits  having 
received  such  information,  but  denies  having  asked  for  it.  (Staff  sximmary  of 
Sp'T-o  Agnew  interview.  10/15/75.) 

"*  Memorandum  from  C.  D.  DeLoach  to  Mr.  Mohr.  8/29/64. 

"^  DeLoach  memorandum.  8/29/64 :  Cartha  DeLoach  testimony,  12/3/75,  Hear- 
ings. Vol.  6,  p.  177.  A  1975  FBI  Inspection  Report  has  speculated  that  the 
SNCC  bug  may  have  been  planted  because  the  Bureau  had  information  in  1964 
that  "an  apparent  member  of  the  Communist  Party,  FSA,  was  engaging  in 
considprnble  activity,  much  in  a  leadership  capacity  in  the  Student  Nonviolent 
Coordinating  Committee."  (FBI  summary  memorandum.  1/30/75.)  It  is  unclear, 
however,  whether  this  bug  was  even  approved  internally  by  FBI  Headquarter.s, 
as  ordinarily  required  by  Bureau  procedures.  DeLoach  stated  in  a  contempo- 
raneous memorandum  that  the  microphone  surveillance  of  SNCC  was  instituted 



Neither  of  the  electronic  surveillances  at  Atlantic  City  were  spe- 
cifically authorized  by  the  Attorney  General.  At  that  time,  Justice 
Department  procedures  did  not  require  the  written  approval  of  the 
Attorney  General  for  bugs  such  as  the  one  directed  against  SNCC  in 
Atlantic  City.  Bureau  officials  apparently  believed  that  the  wiretap 
on  King  was  justified  as  an  extension  of  Robert  Kennedy's  October  10, 
1963,  approval  for  surveillance  of  King  at  his  then-current  address 
in  Atlanta,  Georgia,  or  at  any  future  address  to  which  he  might 
move.^^^  The  only  recorded  reason  for  instituting  the  wiretap  on  Dr. 
King  in  Atlantic  City,  however,  was  set  forth  in  an  internal  memo- 
randum prepared  shortly  before  the  Convention : 

Martin  Luther  King,  Jr.,  head  of  the  Southern  Christian 
Leadership  Conference  (SCLC),  an  organization  set  up  to 
promote  integration  which  we  are  investigating  to  deter- 
mine the  extent  of  Communist  Party  (CP)  influence  on  King 
and  the  SCLC,  plans  to  attend  and  possibly  may  indulge  in 
a  hunger  fast  as  a  means  of  protest.^^^ 

Walter  Jenkins,  an  Administrative  Assistant  to  President  Johnson 
who  was  the  recipient  of  information  developed  by  the  Bureau,  stated 
that  he  was  unaware  that  any  of  the  intelligence  was  obtained  by 
wiretapping  or  bugging.^^^  DeLoach,  moreover,  has  testified  that  he 
is  uncertain  whether  he  ever  informed  Jenkins  of  these  sources.^^^ 

Walter  Jenkins,  and  presumably  President  Johnson,  received  a 
significant  volume  of  information  from  the  electronic  surveillance 
at  Atlantic  City,  much  of  it  purely  political  and  only  tangentially  re- 
lated to  possible  civil  disturbances.  The  most  important  single  issue 
for  President  Johnson  at  the  Atlantic  City  Convention  was  the  seat- 
ing challenge  of  the  Mississippi  Freedom  Democratic  Party  to  the 
regular  Mississippi  delegation.^^°  From  the  electronic  surveillances 
of  King  and  SNCC,  the  White  House  was  able  to  obtain  the  most 
intimate  details  of  the  plans  of  individuals  supporting  the  MFDP's 
challenge  unrelated  to  the  possibility  of  violent  demonstrations. 

Jenkins  received  a  steady  stream  of  reports  on  political  strategy 
in  the  struggle  to  seat  the  MFDP  delegation  and  other  political  plans 
and  discussions  by  the  civil  rights  groups  under  surveillance.^^^  More- 
over, the  1975  Inspection  Eeport  stated  that  "several  Congressmen, 


"with  Bureau  approval."  (Memorandum  from  DeLoach  to  Mohr,  8/29/64.)  But 
the  Inspection  Report  concluded  that  "a  thorough  review  of  Bureau  records  fails 
to  locate  any  memorandum  containing  [internal]  authorization  for  same."  (FBI 
summary  memorandum,  1/30/75.) 

^■'^  Mr.  DeLoach  cited  the  fact  that  in  the  summer  of  1964  "there  was  an  on- 
going electronic  surveillance  on  Dr.  Martin  Luther  King  ...  as  authorized  by 
Attorney  General  Kennedy."  (Cartha  DeLoach  testimony.  11/26/75,  p.  110)  The 
Inspection  Report  noted  that  the  Special  Agent  in  Charge  of  the  Newark  office 
was  instructed  to  institute  the  wiretap  on  the  ground  that  "the  Burenu  had  au- 
thority from  the  Attorney  General  to  cover  any  residences  which  King  may 
use  with  a  technical  installation."  (FBI  summary  memorandum  1/30/75,  Sub- 
ject:  "Special  Squad  at  Democratic  National  Convention,  Atlantic  City,  New 
Jersey,  August  22-28, 1964.") 

^"  Memorandum  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  A.  H.  Belmont,  8/21/64. 

^'*  Staff  summarv  of  Walter  Jenkins  interview,  12/1/75. 

™  DeLoach.  11/26/75.  p.  114. 

^^"  Theodore  White,  Mnkinrf  of  the  President  196J,  (New  York  :  Atheninm.  1965), 
pp.  277-280.  Walter  Jenkins  also  confirmed  this  characterization.  (Staff  sum- 
mary of  .Jenkins  interview,  12/1/75). 

^  Memorandum  from  DeLoach  to  Mohr,  8/29/64, 


Senators,  and  Governors  of  States"  were  overheard  on  the  King  tap.^^^ 
According  to  both  Cartha  DeLoach  and  Waher  Jenkins,  the  Bu- 
reau's coverage  in  Atlantic  City  was  not  designed  to  serve  political 
ends.  DeLoach  testified : 

I  was  sent  there  to  provide  information  .  .  ,  which  could 
reflect  on  the  orderly  progress  of  the  convention  and  the 
danger  to  distinguished  individuals,  and  particularly  the 
danger  to  the  President  of  the  United  States,  as  exempli- 
fied by  the  many,  many  references  [to  possible  civil  disturb- 
ances] in  the  memoranda  furnished  Mr,  Jenkins.  .  .  .^^^ 

Jenkins  has  stated  that  the  mandate  of  the  FBI's  special  unit  did  not 
encompass  the  gathering  of  political  intelligence  and  speculated  that 
the  dissemination  of  any  such  intelligence  was  due  to  the  inability  of 
Bureau  agents  to  distinguish  dissident  activities  which  represented 
a  genuine  potential  for  violence.^®*  Jenkins  did  not  believe  the  White 
House  ever  used  the  incidental  political  intelligence  that  was  received. 
However,  a  document  located  at  the  Lyndon  B.  Johnson  Presidential 
Library  suggests  that  at  least  one  political  use  was  made  of  Mr.  De- 
Loach's  reports.  ^^^ 

Thus,  although  it  may  have  been  implemented  to  prevent  violence  at 
the  Convention  site,  the  Bureau's  coverage  in  Atlantic  City — ^which 
included  two  electronic  surveillances — undeniably  provided  useful  po- 
litical intelligence  to  the  President  as  well.^^'' 

(3)  By-Product  of  Foreign  Intelligence  Coverage. — Through  the 
FBI's  coverage  of  certain  foreign  officials  in  Washington,  D.C.,  the 
Bureau  was  able  to  comply  with  President  Johnson's  request  for  re- 
ports of  the  contacts  between  members  of  Congress  and  foreign  officials 
opposed  to  his  Vietnam  policy.  According  to  a  summary  memorandum 
prepared  by  the  FBI : 

On  March  14,  1966,  then  President  Lyndon  B.  Johnson  in- 
formed Mr.  DeLoach  [Cartha  DeLoach,  Assistant  Director 
of  the  FBI]  .  .  .  that  the  FBI  should  constantly  keep  abreast 
of  the  actions  of  [certain  foreign  officials]  in  making  contact 
with  Senators  and  Congressmen  and  an}^  citizen  of  a  prom- 
inent nature.  The  President  stated  he  strongly  felt  that  much 
of  the  protest  concerning  his  Vietnam  policy,  particularly 
the  hearings  in  the  Senate,  had  been  generated  by  [certain 
foreign  officials]  .^^^ 

'"  Memorandum  from  H.  N.  Bassett  to  Mr.  Callahan,  1/29/75. 

^'  DeLoach,  11/26/75,  p.  139. 

^^  Staff  summary   of  Jenkins  interview,   1/21/75. 

''^  Exhibit  68-2,  Hearings,  Vol.  VI,  p.  71.3. 

588  ppj  memoranda  indicate  that  in  1968  Vice  President  Hubert  Humphrey's 
Executive  Assistant.  Bill  Connell,  asked  the  Bureau  to  send  a  "special  team"  to 
the  forthcomine:  Democratic  National  Convention,  since  President  Johnson  "al- 
legedly told  the  Vice  President  that  the  FBI  had  been  of  great  service  to  him  and 
he  had  been  given  considerable  information  on  a  timely  basis  throughout  the 
entire  convention."  (Memorandum  from  DeLoach  to  Tolson,  S/7/68).  After  talk- 
ing with  Connell.  Director  Hoover  advised  the  HAC  in  Chicago  that  the  Bureau 
was  "not  going  to  get  into  anything  political  but  anything  of  extreme  action  or 
violence  contemplated  we  want  to  let  Connell  know."  (Memorandum  from  Hoover 
to  Tolson,  et  al.,  8/15/68.)  Democratic  Party  Treasurer  John  Criswell  made  a 
similar  request,  stating  that  Postmaster  General  Man-in  Watson  "had  informed 
him  of  rhe  great  service  performed  b.v  the  FBI  during  the  last  Democratic  Con- 
vention." (Memorandum  from  DeLoach  to  Tolson,  8/22/68.) 

SS7  pgj  summary  memorandum,  2/3/75, 


As  a  result  of  the  President's  request,  the  FBI  prepared  a  chronolog- 
ical summary — apparently  based  in  part  on  existinjj  electronic  surveil- 
lances— of  the  contacts  of  each  Senator,  Representative,  or  legislative 
staff  member  who  communicated  with  selected  foreign  officials  during 
the  period  July  1,  1964,  to  March  17,  1966.  This  67-page  summary  was 
transmitted  to  the  White  House  on  March  21,  1966,  with  a  note  that 
certain  foreign  officials  were  "making  more  contacts"  with  four  named 
Senators  "than  with  other  United  States  legislator."  ^^^  A  second  sum- 
mary, prepared  on  further  contacts  between  Congressmen  and  foreign 
officials,  was  transmitted  to  the  AVhite  House  on  May  13,  1966.  From 
then  until  the  end  of  the  Johnson  Administration  in  January  1969, 
biweekly  additions  to  the  second  summary  were  regularly  disseminated 
to  the  White  House.^^^ 

This  practice  was  reinstituted  during  the  Nixon  Administration. 
On  July  27,  1970,  Larry  Higby,  Assistant  to  H.  R.  Haldeman,  in- 
formed the  Bureau  that  Haldeman  "Avanted  any  information  pos- 
sessed by  the  FBI  relating  to  contacts  between  [certain  foreign  offi- 
cials] and  Members  of  Congress  and  its  staff."  Two  days  later,  the 
Bureau  provided  the  White  House  with  a  statistical  compilation  of 
such  contacts  from  January  1,  1967,  to  the  present.  Unlike  the  case  of 
the  information  provided  to  the  Johnson  Wliite  House,  however,  there 
is  no  indication  in  related  Bureau  records  that  President  Nixon  or  his 
aides  were  concerned  about  critics  of  the  President's  policy.  The  Bu- 
reau's reports  did  not  identify  individual  Senators;  they  provided 
overall  statistics  and  two  examples  of  foreign  recruitment  attempts 
(with  names  removed ).^^° 

In  at  least  one  instance  the  FBI,  at  the  request  of  the  President  and 
with  the  approval  of  the  Attorney  General,  instituted  an  electronic 
surveillance  of  a  foreign  target  for  the  express  purpose  of  intercept- 
ing telephone  conversations  of  an  American  citizen.  An  FBI  memo- 
randum states  that  shortly  before  the  1968  Presidential  election,  Pres- 
ident Johnson  became  suspicious  that  the  South  Vietnamese  were 
trying  to  sabotage  his  peace  negotiations  in  the  hope  that  Presidential 
candidate  Nixon  would  win  the  election  and  then  take  a  harder  line 
toward  North  Vietnam.  To  determine  the  validity  of  this  suspicion, 
the  White  House  instructed  the  FBI  to  institute  physical  surveillance 
of  Mrs.  Anna  Chennault,  a  prominent  Republican,  as  well  as  electronic 
surveillance  directed  against  a  South  Vietnamese  target.^^^ 

The  electronic  surveillance  was  authorized  by  Attorney  General 
Ramsey  Clark  on  October  29,  1968,  installed  the  same  day,  and  con- 
tinued until  January  6,  1969.^^^  Thus,  a  "foreign"  electronic  surveil- 
lance was  instituted  to  target  indirectly  an  American  citizen  who  could 
not  be  legitimately  surveilled  directly.  Also  as  part  of  this  investiga- 
tion. President  Johnson  personally  ordered  a  check  of  the  long  distance 
toll  call  records  of  Vice  Presidential  candidate  Spiro  Agnew.^^^ 

588  p-pj  summary  memorandum,  2/3/75. 

B8»  pgj  summary  memorandum,  2/3/75. 

590  pgj  f^in^mary  memorandum,  2/3/75.  See  Findings  on  Political  Abuse. 

6»i  PR!  summary  memorandum,  2/1/75. 

^^  Memorandum  from  Director,  FBI  to  Attorney  General,  10/2J^/6S ;  memo- 
randum from  Director.  FBI  to  Attorney  General,  10/30/68 ;  memorandum  from 
Director,  FBI  to  Attorney  General.  3/27/69. 

Attorney  General  Clark  testified  that  he  was  unaware  of  any  surveillance  of 
Mrs.  Chennault,  (Clark,  12/3/75.  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  pp.  251-252.) 

^^  See  Findings  on  Political  Abuse,  p.  225. 


(4)  The  SurveiUcmce  of  Joseph  Kraft  {1969) . — There  is  no  substan- 
tial indication  of  any  genuine  national  security  rationale  for  the  elec- 
tronic surveillance  overseas  of  columnist  Joseph  Kraft  in  1969.  John 
Erlichman  testified  before  the  Senate  AVatergate  Committee  that  the 
national  security  was  involved,  but  did  not  elaborate  further.^^* 

Beyond  this  general  claim,  however,  there  is  little  evidence  that  any 
national  security  issue  was  involved  in  the  case.  Former  Deputy  Attor- 
ney General  and  Acting  FBI  Director  William  Ruckelshaus  testified 
that  after  reviewing  the  matter  he  "could  never  see  any  national  se- 
curity justification"  for  the  surveillance  of  Kraft.  Ruckelshaus  stated 
that  the  Administration's  "justification"'  for  bugging  Kraft's  hotel 
room  was  that  he  was  "asking  questions  of  some  members  of  the  North 
Vietnamese  Government."  Ruckelshaus  believed  that  this  was  not  an 
adequate  national  security  justification  for  placing  "any  kind  of  sur- 
veillance on  an  American  citizen  or  newsman.''  ^^^  Mr.  Kraft  agreed 
that  he  was  in  contact  with  North  Vietnamese  officials  while  he  was 
abroad  in  1969,  but  noted  that  this  was  a  common  practice  among 
journalists  and  that  "at  the  time"  he  never  knowingly  published  any 
classified  information.^^*^ 

The  documentary  record  also  reveals  no  national  security  justifica- 
tion for  the  FBI's  electronic  surveillance  of  Mr.  Kraft  overseas. 
The  one  memorandum  which  referred  to  "Possible  Leaks  of  Informa- 
tion" by  Kraft  does  not  indicate  that  there  clearly  was  a  leak  of  na- 
tional security  significance  or  that  Mr.  Kraft  was  responsible  for  such 
a  leak  if  it  occur  red.  ^^'  Furthermore,  the  hotel  room  bug  did  not  pro- 
duce any  evidence  that  Kraft  received  or  published  any  classified 
information. ^^^ 

®*  John  Ehrlichman  testimony.  Senate  Watergate  Committee,  7/24/73.  p.  2535. 
According  to  tlie  transcriiit  of  the  Wliite  House  tapes,  President  Nixon  stated  to 
John  Dean  on  April  16, 1973  : 

"What  I  mean  is  I  thinlv  in  the  case  of  the  Kraft  stuff  what  the  FBI  did,  they 
were  both  fine.  I  have  checlced  the  facts.  Tliere  were  some  done  through  private 
sources.  Most  of  it  was  done  tlirough  the  Bureau  after  we  got — Hoover  didn't 
want  to  do  Kraft.  What  it  involved  apparently.  .John,  was  this :  the  leaks  from 
the  NSC  [National  Security  Council].  They  were  in  Kraft  and  others  columns 
and  we  were  trying  to  plug  the  leaks  and  we  had  to  get  it  done  and  finally  we 
turned  it  over  to  Hoover.  And  then  when  the  hullabaloo  developed  we  just 
knocked  it  off  altogether.  .  .  ."  (Submission  of  Recorded  Presidential  Conversa- 
tions to  the  Committee  on  the  Judiciary  of  the  House  of  Representatives  by 
President  Richnrd  Nixon,  4/30/74.)  The  President's  statement  was  made  in  the 
context  of  'coaching'  John  Dean  on  what  to  say  to  the  Watergate  Grand  Jury. 

^  William  Ruckleshaus  testimony  before  the  Subcommittee  on  Administrative 
Practice  and  Procedure,  5/9/74,  p.  320. 

^  Kraft  testified  that  Henry  Kissinger,  then  the  President's  Special  Adviser 
for  National  Security,  informed  him  that  he  had  no  knowledge  of  either  the  wire- 
tap or  the  hotel  room  bug.  Kraft  also  stated  that  former  Attorney  General  Elliot 
Richardson  indicated  to  him  that  ''there  was  no  justification  for  these  activities." 
(Joseph  Kraft  testimony.  Senate  Subcommittee  on  Administrative  Practice  and 
Prof'Pdure,  5/10/74,  p.  381.) 

'""  Letter  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  Mr.  Hoover.  7/12/69. 

^  While  the  summaries  sent  to  Hoover  by  Sullivan  did  show  that  Kraft  con- 
tacted North  Vietnamese  oflHcials  (Letter  from  Sullivan  to  Hoover.  7/12/69).  the 
Bureau  did  not  discover  any  improprieties  or  indi.scretions  on  his  part.  When 
RnckeLshaus  was  asked  if  his  review  of  these  summaries  revealed  to  him  that 
Kraft  engaged  in  any  conduct  while  abroad  that  posed  a  danger  to  the  national 
securitv.  he  replied:  "Absolutely  not."  (Ruckelshaus  testimony  before  the  Sub- 
committee on  Administrative  Practice  and  Procedure,  5/9/74,  p.  320. ) 


Similarly,  there  is  no  evidence  of  a  national  security  justification 
for  the  physical  surveillance  and  proposed  electronic  surveillance  of 
Kraft  in  the  fall  of  1969.  A  Bureau  memorandum  suggests  that  the 
Attorney  General  requested  some  type  of  coverage  of  Kraft,^^^  but  the 
record  reveals  no  purpose  for  this  coverage.  The  physical  surveillance 
was  discontinued  after  five  weeks  because  it  had  '"not  been  produc- 
tive." Apparently,  the  Attorney  General  himself  was  unconvinced 
that  a  genuine  national  security  justification  supported  the  Kraft 
surveillance :  he  refused  to  authorize  the  requested  wiretap,  and  it  was 
consequently  never  implemented.''"^ 

(5)  TJie  "i'z"  Wiretaps. — The  relative  ease  with  which  high  admin- 
istration officials  could  select  improper  intelligence  targets  was  demon- 
strated by  the  "17"  wiretaps  on  Executive  officials  and  newsmen  in- 
stalled between  1969-1971  under  the  rationale  of  determining  the 
source  of  leaks  of  sensitive  information.*'""^  In  three  cases  no  national 
security  claim  was  even  advanced.  Wliile  national  security  issues  were 
at  least  arguably  involved  in  the  initiation  of  the  other  taps,  the  pro- 
gram continued  in  two  instances  against  persons  who  left  the  govern- 
ment and  took  positions  as  advisors  to  Senator  Edmund  Muskie,  then 
the  leading  Democratic  Presidential  prospect.^"^ 

The  records  of  these  wiretaps  were  kept  separate  from  the  FBI's 
regular  electronic  surveillance  files;  ^"^  their  duration  in  many  cases 
went  beyond  the  period  then  required  for  re-authorization  by  the  At- 
torney General ;  and  in  some  cases  the  Attorney  General  did  not  au- 
thorize the  tap  until  after  it  had  begun.*'"^  In  1971,  the  records  were 
removed  from  the  FBI's  possession  and  sent  to  the  AMiite  House.. 

Thus,  misuse  of  the  FBI  had  progressed  by  1971  from  the  regular 
receipt  by  the  "WHiite  House  of  political  "tid-bits"  and  occasional  re- 
quests for  name  checks  of  Bureau  files  to  the  use  of  a  full  array  of 
intelligence  operations  to  serve  the  political  interests  of  the  admin- 
istration. The  final  irony  was  that  the  Nixon  administration  came  to 
distrust  Director  Hoover's  reliability  and,  consequently,  to  develop  a 
White  House-based  covert  intelligence  operation.^"* 

c.  The  Justice  Department'' s  Internal  Security  Division 
FBI  intelligence  reports  flowed  consistently  to  the  Justice  Depart- 
ment, especially  to  the  IDIU  established  by  Attorney  General  Clark 
in  1967  and  to  the  Internal  Security  Division.  Before  1971,  the  Justice 
Department  provided  little  guidance  to  the  FBI  on  tlie  proper  scope 
of  domestic  intelligence  investigations.^"^  For  example,  in  response  to 
a  Bureau  inquiry  in  1964  about  whether  a  group's  activities  came 
"within  the  criteria"  of  the  employee  security  program  or  were  "in 

^°  Memorandum  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  Mr.  DeLoach.  11/4/69. 

*"  Memorandum  from  Sullivan  to  DeLoach.  12/11/69. 

eooa  -p^j.  (jiscussion  of  dissemination  of  political  intelligence  from  the  "17"  wire- 
taps, see  Finding  on  Political  Abuse,  p.  225. 

^  Sen.  Edmund  Muskie  testimony,  Senate  Foreign  Relations  Committee, 
9/10/78  Executive  Spssian,  pp.  .^0-51. 

*°^  Memorandum  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  C.  D.  DeLoach,  5/11/69. 

'""Report  of  the  House  .Tudiciarv  Committee.  S/20/74.  pp.  146-1.54. 

'°*The  creation  of  the  "plumbers"  unit  in  the  White  House  led  inexorably  to 
Watergate.  See  Report  of  the  House  Judiciary  Committee,  8/20/74,  pp.  157-162, 

^^  An  example  of  a  generalized  Departmental  instruction  is  Attorney  General 
Clark's  order  of  September  1967  (see  p.  79)   regarding  civil  disorders. 


violation  of  any  other  federal  statute,"  ^^  the  Internal  Security  Divi- 
sion replied  that  there  Avas  "insufficient  evidence"  for  prosecution  and 
that  the  group's  leaders  were  "becoming  more  cautious  in  their  ut- 
terances." '^'^'  Nevertheless,  the  FBI  continued  for  years  to  investigate 
the  group  with  the  knowledge  and  approval  of  the  Division. 

(1)  The  "iVeto"  Internal  Security  Division. — AVhen  Kobert  Mardian 
was  appointed  Assistant  Attorney  General  in  late  1970,  the  Internal 
Security  Division  assumed  a  more  active  posture.  In  fact,  one  of  the 
alternatives  to  implementation  of  the  "Huston  Plan"  suggested  to 
Attorney  General  John  Mitchell  by  White  House  aide  John  Dean 
was  the  invigoration  of  the  Division.^°*  This  included  Mardian's  es- 
tablishment of  the  lEC  to  prepare  domestic  intelligence  estimates. 
Equally  significant,  however,  was  Mardian's  preparation  of  a  new 
Executive  Order  on  federal  employee  security.  The  new  order  assigned 
to  the  moribund  Subversive  Activities  Control  Board  the  function  of 
designating  groups  for  what  had  been  the  "Attorney  General's 
list."  ^°^  This  attempt  to  assign  broad  new  functions  by  Executive  fiat 
to  a  Board  with  limited  statutory  responsibilities  clearly  disregarded 
the  desires  of  the  Congress.*'^" 

According  to  Mardian,  there  was  a  "problem"  because  the  list  had 
"not  been  updated  for  17  years."  He  expected  that  the  revitalized 
SACB  would  "deal  specifically  with  the  revolutionary /terrorist  or- 
ganizations which  have  recently  become  a  part  of  our  history."  ®^^ 

Assistant  Attorney  General  IMardian's  views  coincided  with  those 
of  FBI  Assistant  Director  Brennan,  who  had  seen  a  need  to  compile 
massive  data  on  the  "New  Left"  for  future  employee  security  pur- 
poses.^^^  Since  FBI  intelligence  investigations  were  based  in  part  on 
the  standards  for  the  "Attorney  General's  list."  the  new  Executive 
Order  substantially  redefined  and  expanded  FBI  authority.  The  new 
order  included  groups  who  advocated  the  use  of  force  to  deny  individ- 
ual rights  under  the  "laws  of  anv  State"  or  to  overthrow  the  govern- 
ment of  "any  State  or  subdivision  thereof."  ^^^  The  new  order  also 
continued  to  use  the  term  "subversive,"  although  it  was  theoretically 
more  restrictive  than  the  previous  standard  for  the  Attorney  Gen- 
eral's list  because  it  required  "unlawful"  advocacy. 

^"^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Director  to  Yeagley,  1/31/64. 

^"^  Memorandum  from  Yeagley  to  FBI  Director,  3/3/64.  Tliere  was  no  reau- 
thorization of  the  continuing  inve.^itigation  between  1966  and  1974. 

^  Memorandum  from  Dean  to  Mitchell,  9/18/70. 

^•^  Executive  Order  11605.  7/71. 

"°By  1971.  the  SACB  had  the  limited  function  of  making  findings  that  spe- 
cific individuals  and  groups  were  Communist.  Its  registration  of  Communist  had 
been  declared  imconstitutional.  [Alhertson  v.  Subversive  Activities  Control  Board, 
382  U.S.  70   n96o).l 

*"  Robert  C.  Mardian,  address  before  the  Atomic  Energy  Commission  Security 
Conference,  Washington,  D.C.  10/27/71.  Mardian  added  that  the  "problem"  was 
that,  without  an  updated,  formal  list  of  subversive  organizations,  federal  agen- 
cies were  required  "to  individually  evaluate  information  regarding  membership 
in  allegedly  subversive  organizations  based  on  raw  data  furnished  by  the  Fed- 
eral Bureau  of  Investigation  or  other  governmental  sources." 

"^  Brennan  testimony,  9/25/7.5.  Hearings,  Vol.  2,  116-117. 

*^^  Executive  Order  11605.  7/71.  By  contrast,  the  prior  order  had  been  limited 
to  groups  seeking  forcible  violation  of  rights  "under  the  Constitution  of  the 
United  States"  or  seeking  "to  alter  the  form  of  government  of  the  United  States 
by  unconstitutional  means."  Executive  Order  10450  (1953). 


Mardian  made  it  clear  that,  under  the  order,  the  FBI  was  to  provide 
intelligence  to  the  Subversive  Activities  Control  Board : 

We  have  a  new  brand  of  radical  in  this  country  and  we  are 
trying  to  address  ourselves  to  the  new  situation.  With  the  in- 
vestigative effort  of  the  FBI,  we  hope  to  present  petitions 
to  the  Board  in  accordance  with  requirement  of  the  Execu- 
tive Order.^^* 

FBI  intelligence  officials  learned  that  the  Internal  Security  Division 
intended  to  "initiate  proceedings  against  the  Black  Panther  Party, 
Progressive  Labor  Party,  Young  Socialist  Alliance,  and  Ku  Klux 
Klan."  They  also  noted:  "The  language  of  Executive  Order  11605 
is  very  broad  and  generall}^  coincides  with  the  basis  for  our  investiga- 
tion of  extremist  groups."  "^  Mardian  had,  in  effect,  provided  a  new 
and  wider  "charter"  for  FBI  domestic  intelligence.^^^ 

(2)  The  Sullivan-Mardian Relationship. — in  1971,  Director  Hoover 
expressed  growing  concern  over  the  close  relationship  developing 
between  his  FBI  subordinates  in  the  Domestic  Intelligence  Division 
and  the  Internal  Security  Division  under  Mardian.  For  example,  when 
FBI  intelligence  officials  met  with  Mardian's  principal  deputy, 
A.  William  Olsen,  to  discuss  "proposed  changes  in  procedure"  for  the 
Attorney  General's  authorization  of  electronic  surveillance.  Hoover 
reiterated  instructions  that  Bureau  officials  be  "very  careful  in  our 
dealings"  with  Mardian.  Moreover,  to  have  a  source  of  legal  advice 
independent  of  the  Justice  Department,  the  FBI  Director  created  a 
new  position  of  Assistant  Director  for  Legal  Counsel  and  required  that 
he  attend  "at  any  time  officials  of  the  Department  are  being  contacted 
on  any  policy  consideration  which  affects  the  Bureau."  ^^^ 

In  the  summer  of  1971,  AVilliam  C.  Sullivan  openly  challenged  FBI 
Director  Hoover,  possibly  counting  on  Mardian  and  Attorney  General 
Mitchell  to  back  him  up  and  oust  Hoover.^^^  Sullivan  charged  in  one 
memorandum  to  Hoover  that  other  Bureau  officials  lacked  "objectiv- 
ity" and  "independent  thinking"  and  that  "they  said  what  they  did 
because  they  thought  this  was  what  the  Director  wanted  them  to 
say."  619 

Shortly  thereafter,  Director  Hoover  appointed  W.  jNIark  Felt,  for- 
merly Assistant  Director  for  the  Inspection  Division,  to  a  newly  cre- 
ated position  as  SulliA^an's  superior.  Apparently  realizing  that  he  was 
on  his  way  out,  Sullivan  gave  Assistant  Attorney  General  Mardian  the 
FBI's  documents  recording  the  authorization  for,  and  dissemination 

'^^  Hearings  on  the  appropriation  for  the  Department  of  Justice  before  the 
House  Subcommittee  on  Appropriations,  92nd  Cong.,  2nd  Sess.,  (1972),  p.  ^IX 

'^^  Inspection  Report,  FBI  Domestic  Intelligence  Division,  August  17-Sep- 
tember9.  1971. 

"*  Tlie  hostile  Congressional  reaction  to  this  Order,  which  shifted  duties  by 
Executive  fiat  to  a  Board  created  by  statute  for  other  purposes,  led  to  the  death 
of  the  SACB  when  no  appropriation  was  granted  in  1972. 

®^'  FBI  Executives  Conference  Memorandum.  6/2/71.  The  first  Assistant  Direc- 
tor for  Legal  Counsel  was  Dwight  Dalbey,  who  had  for  years  been  in  charge  of 
the  legal  training  of  Bureau  agents.  Dalbey's  elevation  early  in  1971,  and  Hoover's 
requirement  that  he  review  all  legal  aspects  of  FBI  policy,  including  intelligence 
matters,  was  a  major  change  in  Bureau  procedure.  (Memorandum  from  Hoover  to 
All  Bureau  OflScials  and  Supervisors,  3/8/71. ) 

^*  FBI  Summary  of  Interview  with  Robert  Mardian,  5/10/73,  pp.  1-3. 

°^*  Memorandum  from  Sullivan  to  Hoover,  6/16/71. 


of,  information  from  the  "17"  wiretaps  placed  on  Executive  officials 
and  newsmen  in  1969-1971.  The  absence  of  these  materials  was  not  dis- 
covered by  other  FBI  officials  nntil  after  Sullivan  was  forced  to  resign 
in  September  1971. ^'-^  Mardian  eventually  took  part  in  the  transfer  of 
these  records  to  the  White  House.*^^^ 

Thus,  the  Attorney  General's  principal  assistant  for  internal  secu- 
rity collaborated  with  a  ranking  FBI  official  to  conceal  vital  records, 
ultimately  to  be  secreted  away  in  the  White  House.  This  provides  a 
striking  example  of  the  manner  in  which  channels  of  legitimate  author- 
ity Avithin  the  Executive  Branch  can  be  abused. 

d.  The  FBFs  Secret  '•'■Achmmsfrafive  Iiulex''' 
In  the  fall  of  1971,  the  FBI  confronted  the  prospect  of  the  first  seri- 
ous Congressional  curtailment  of  domestic  intelligence  investiga- 
tions— repeal  of  the  Emergency  Detention  Act  of  1950 — and  set  a 
course  of  evasion  of  the  will  of  Congress  which  continued,  partly  with 
Justice  Department  approval,  until  1973. 

An  FBI  Inspection  Report  viewed  the  prospect  of  the  repeal  with- 
out great  alarm.  In  the  event  the  Act  was  repealed,  the  FBI  intended 
to  continue  as  before  under  "the  Government's  inherent  right  to  pro- 
tect itself  internally."  ^"  After  the  repeal  took  place.  Bureau  officials 
elaborated  the  following  rationale  for  keeping  the  Security  Index  of 
"potentially  dangerous  subversives :" 

Should  this  country  come  under  attack  from  hostile  forces, 
foreign  or  domestic^  there  is  nothing  to  preclude  the  President 
from  going  before  a  joint  session  of  Congress  and  requesting 
necessary  authority  to  apprehend  and  detain  those  Avho  would 
constitute  a  menace  to  national  defense.  At  this  point,  it 
would  be  absolutely  essential  to  have  an  immediate  list,  such 
as  the  SI,  for  use  in  making  such  apprehensions.^^^  [Em- 
phasis added,] 

Thus,  FBI  officials  hoped  there  would  be  a  way  to  circumvent  the 
repeal  "in  which  the  essence  of  the  Security  Index  and  emergency 
detention  of  dangerous  individuals  could  be  utilized  under  Presiden- 
tial powers."  ^'* 

Assistant  Director  Dwight  Dalbey,  the  FBI's  Legal  Counsel,  recom- 
mended writing  to  the  Attorney  General  for  "a  reassessment"  in  order 
to  "protect"  the  Bureau  in  case  "some  spokesman  of  the  extreme  left" 
claimed  that  repeal  of  the  Detention  Act  eliminated  FBI  authority 
for  domestic  intelligence  activity.  Dalbey  agreed  that,  since  the  Act 
"could  easily  be  put  back  in  force  should  an  emergency  convince  Con- 

«="  Memorandum  from  T.  J.  Smith  to  E.  S.  Miller.  5/13/73.  pp.  1.  8. 

^^FBI  Summary  of  Interview  with  Robert  Mardian,  5/10/73,  pp.  2-3.  The 
Watergate  Special  Prosecutor  investigated  these  events,  and  did  not  find  siiflS- 
cient  evidence  of  criminal  conduct  to  bring  an  indictment.  However,  they  occurred 
at  the  time  of  intense  White  House  pressure  to  develop  a  criminal  prosecution 
against  Daniel  Ellsberg  over  the  Pentagon  Papers  mattei*.  The  dismissal  of 
charges  against  Ellsberg  in  1973  was  largely  due  to  the  belated  discovery  of  the 
fact  that  Ellsberg  had  been  overheard  on  a  wiretap  indi.r*ated  in  these  records, 
which  were  withheld  from  the  court,  preventing  its  determination  of  the  perti- 
nency of  the  material  to  the  Ellsberg  case. 

^  Inspection  Report,  Domestic  Intelligence  Division.  S/17-9/9/71,  p.  98. 

*^  Memorandum  from  R.  D.  Cotter  to  E.  S.  Miller,  9/21/71. 

^*  Memorandum  from  Cotter  to  Miller,  9/17/71. 


gress  of  its  need,"  the  Bureau  should  "have  on  hand  the  necessary 
action  information  pertaining  to  individuals."  ^^^  Thereupon,  a  letter 
was  sent  to  Attorney  General  Mitchell  proposing  that  the  Bureau  be 
allowed  to  "maintain  an  administrative  index"  of  individuals  Avho 
"pose  a  threat  to  the  internal  security  of  the  country."  Such  an  index 
would  be  an  aid  to  the  Bureau  in  discharging  its  "investigative  re- 
sponsibility." However,  the  letter  made  no  reference  to  the  theory  pre- 
vailing within  the  FBI  that  the  new  "administrative  index"  would 
serve  as  the  basis  for  a  revived  detention  program  in  some  future 

Thus,  when  the  Attorney  General  replied  that  the  repeal  of  the  Act 
did  not  prohibit  the  FBI  from  compiling  an  "administrative  index" 
to  make  "readily  retrievable"  the  "results  of  its  investigations,"  he  did 
not  deal  with  the  question  of  whether  the  index  would  also  serve  as  a 
round-up  list  for  a  future  emergency.  The  Attorney  General  also  stated 
that  the  Department  did  not  "desire  a  copy"  of  the  new  index,  abdicat- 
ing even  the  minimal  supervisory  role  performed  previously  by  the 
Internal  Security  Division  in  its  review  of  the  names  on  the  Security 
Index,^^^  FBI  officials  realized  that  they  were  "now  in  a  position  to 
make  a  sole  determination  as  to  which  individuals  should  be  included 
in  an  index  of  subversive  individuals."  ^" 

There  were  two  major  consequences  of  the  new  system.  First,  the 
new  "administrative  index"  (ADEX)  was  expanded  to  include  an 
elastic  category :  "the  new  breed  of  subvei*sive."  ^^^  Second,  the  pre- 
vious Eeserve  Index,  which  had  never  been  disclosed  to  the  Justice 
Department,  was  incorporated  into  the  ADEX.  It  included  "teachers, 
writers,  lawyers,  etc."  who  did  not  actively  participate  in  subversive 
activity  "but  who  were  nevertheless  influential  in  espousing  their 
respective  philosophies."  It  was  estimated  that  the  total  case  load  under 
the  ADEX  would  be  "in  excess  of  23,000."  ^^^ 

One  of  the  FBI  standards  for  placing  someone  on  the  ADEX  list 
demonstrates  the  vast  breadth  of  the  list  and  the  assumption  that  it 
could  be  used  as  the  basis  for  detention  in  an  emergency : 

An  individual  who,  although  not  a  member  of  or  participant 
in  activities  of  revolutionary  organizations  or  considered  an 
activist  in  affiliated  fronts,  has  exhibited  a  revolutionary 
ideology  and  is  likely  to  seize  upon  the  opportunity  presented 

'^Memorandum  from  D.  J.  Dalbey  to  C.  Tolson,  9/24/71. 

•^"  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Mitchell,  9/30/71. 

'^"Memorandum  from  Mitchell  to  Hoover,  10/22/71. 

"^  Memorandum  from  T.  J.  Smith  to  E.  S.  Miller,  11/11/71.  It  was  noted  that  in 
the  past  the  Department  had  "frequently  removed  individuals"  from  the  Security 
Index  because  of  its  strict  "legal  interpretation." 

'^^  This  new  breed  was  described  as  follows  : 

"He  may  adhere  to  the  old-line  revolutionary  concepts  but  he  is  unaffiliated 
with  any  organization.  He  may  belong  to  or  follow  one  New  Left-type  group  today 
and  another  tomorrow.  He  may  simply  belong  to  the  loosely  knit  group  of  revolu- 
tionaries who  have  no  particular  political  philosophy  but  who  continuously  plot 
the  overthrow  of  our  Government.  He  is  the  nihilist  who  seeks  only  to  destroy 

"On  the  other  hand,  he  may  be  one  of  the  revolutionary  black  extremists  who, 
while  perhaps  influerced  by  groups  such  as  the  Black  Panther  Party,  is  also 
unaffiliated  either  permanently  or  temporarily  with  any  black  organization  but 
with  a  seething  hatred  of  the  white  establishment  wiU  assassinate,  explode,  or 
otherwise  destroy  white  America."  (T.  J.  Smith  to  E.  S.  Miller,  11/11/71.) 

*"  Memorandum  from  T.  J.  Smith  to  E.  S.  Miller,  11/11/71. 


by  national  eTnergency  to  commit  acts  of  espionage  or  sabo- 
tage, including  acts  of  terrorism,  assassination  or  any  inte?'- 
ference  with  or  threat  to  the  survival  and  effective  operation 
of  the  national,  state,  and  local  governments  and  of  the  defense 
efforts.  [Emphasis  added.] *^^° 

These  criteria  were  supplied  to  the  Justice  Department  in  1972,  and 
the  Attorney  General  did  not  question  the  fact  that  the  ADEX  was 
more  than  an  administrative  aid  for  conducting  investigations,  as 
he  had  previously  been  told.*^^^ 

A  Bureau  memorandum  indicates  that  "representatives  of  the  De- 
partment" in  fact  agreed  with  the  view  that  there  might  be  "cir- 
cumstances" where  it  would  be  necessary  "to  quickly  identify  persons 
who  were  a  threat  to  the  national  security"  and  that  the  President 
could  then  go  to  Congress  "for  emergency  legislation  permitting  ap- 
prehension and  detention."  ^^^ 

Thus,  although  the  Attorney  General  did  not  formally  authorize 
the  ADEX  as  a  continuation  of  the  previous  detention  list,  there  was 
informal  Departmental  knowledge  that  the  FBI  would  proceed  on  that 
basis.  One  FBI  official  later  recognized  that  the  ADEX  could  be 
"interpreted  as  a  means  to  circumvent  repeal  of  the  Emergency 
Detention  Act."  ^^^ 

8.  Reconsideration  of  FBI  Authority 

In  February  1971,  the  Subcommittee  on  Constitutional  Rights  of 
the  Senate  Judiciary  Committee  began  a  series  of  hearings  on  federal 
data  banks  and  the  Bill  of  Rights  which  marked  a  crucial  turning  point 
in  the  development  of  domestic  intelligence  policy.  The  Subcommittee, 
chaired  by  Senator  Sam  J.  Ervin  of  North  Carolina,  reflected  growing 
concern  among  Americans  for  the  protection  of  "the  privacy  of  the 
individual  against  the  'information  power'  of  government."  ^^* 

Largely  in  response  to  this  first  serious  Congressional  inquiry  into 
domestic  intelligence  policy,  the  Army  curtailed  its  extensive  surveil- 
lance of  civilian  political  activity.  The  Senate  inquiry  also  led,  after 
Director  Hoover's  death  in  1972,  to  reconsideration  by  the  FBI  of  the 
legal  basis  for  its  domestic  intelligence  activities  and  eventually  to  a 
request  to  the  Attorney  General  for  clarification  of  its  authority.^^^ 

^^^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs,  11/15/71. 

"^^  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Mitchell,  2/10/72 ;  cf.  memorandum  from 
Hoover  to  Mitchell,  9/30/71  for  the  previous  statement. 

^  Memorandum  from  T.  J.  Smith  to  E.  S.  Miller,  8/29/72. 

*^  Memorandum  from  Domestic  Intelligence  Division.  Position  Paper :  Scope 
of  Authorit.v,  .Jurisdiction  and  Responsibility  in  Domestic  Intelligence  Investiga- 
tions. 7/31/72. 

'^Federal  Data  Banks,  Hearings,  Opening  Statement  of  Senator  Ervin,  Febru- 
ary 23, 1971,  p.  1.  Senator  Ervin  declared  that  a  major  objective  of  the  inquiry  was 
to  look  into  "programs  for  taking  official  note  of  law-abiding  people  who  are  active 
politically  or  who  participate  in  community  activities  on  social  and  political 
issues."  The  problem,  as  Senator  Ervin  saw  it,  was  that  there  were  citizens 
who  felt  "intimidated"  by  these  programs  and  were  "fearful  aliout  exercising  their 
rights  under  the  First  Amendment  to  sign  petitions,  or  to  speak  and  write  freely 
on  current  issues  of  Government  policy."  The  ranking  minority  meml)er  of  the 
Subcommittee.  Senator  Roman  Hruska.  endorsed  the  need  for  a  "penetrating  and 
searching"  inquiry.  (Hearings,  pp.  4,  7.) 

"'^  Also  during  March  1971.  an  FBI  office  in  Media,  Pennsylvania  was  broken 
into ;  a  substantial  number  of  documents  were  removed  and  soon  began  to  appear 
in  the  pres.s.  One  of  these  was  captioned  COIXTELPRO.  The  Bureau  reacted 
by  ordering  its   field   offices   to   "discontinue"   COINTELPRO   operations    "for 



a.  Developments  in  1&7^-1971^ 

There  is  no  indication  that  FBI  "guidelines"  material  or  the  FBI 
Manual  provisions  themselves  were  submitted  to,  or  requested  by,  the 
Justice  Department  prior  to  1972. '^^^  Indeed,  when  Deputy  Attorney 
General  Richard  Kleindienst  testified  in  February  1972  at  the  hear- 
ings on  his  nomination  to  be  Attorney  General,  he  stated  that  he  was 
"not  sure"  what  guidelines  were  used  by  the  FBI.  Kleindienst  also 
stated  that  he  believed  FBI  investigations  were  "restricted  to  criminal 
conduct  or  the  likelihood  of  criminal  conduct."  ^^'  Director  Hoover 
noted  on  a  newspaper  report  of  the  testimony,  "Prepare  succinst  memo 
to  him  on  our  guidelines."  ^^^ 

After  Hoover's  death  in  1972,  a  sharp  split  developed  within  the 
Domestic  Intelligence  Division  over  whether  or  not  the  Bureau  should 
continue  to  rely  on  the  various  Executive  Orders  as  a  basis  for  its 

Acting  Director  Gray  postponed  making  any  formal  decisions  on 
this  matter;  he  did  not  formally  request  advice  from  the  Attorney 
General. *^^°  Meanwhile,  the  Domestic  Intelligence  Division  proceeded 


security  reasons  because  of  their  sensitivity."  It  was  suggested,  liowever,  that 
"counter-intelligence  action"  would  be  considered  "in  exceptional  instances"  so 
long  as  there  were  "tight  procedures  to  insure  absolute  secrecy."  (Memorandum 
from  Brennan  to  Sullivan,  4/27/71 ;  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all 
SAC'S.  4/28/71.)  For  actions  taken  thereafter,  see  COINTELPRO  report. 

•"^  After  repeal  of  the  Emergency  Detention  Act  in  the  fall  of  1971,  the  FBI's 
Assistant  Director  for  Legal  Counsel  recommended  that  the  Bureau's  request 
for  .approval  of  its  new  ADEX  also  include  a  more  general  request  for  re-afl5rma- 
tion  of  FBI  domestic  intelligence  authority  to  investigate  "subversive  activity." 
(Memorandum  from  D.  J.  Dalbey  to  Mr.  Tolson,  9/24/71.)  The  letter  to  the  Attor- 
ney General  reviewed  the  line  of  "Presidential  directives"  from  1939  to  195.S. 
(Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Mitchell,  9/30/71.)  The  Attorney  General  replied 
with  a  general  endorsement  of  FBI  authority  to  investigate  "subversive  activ- 
itie.s."  (Memorandum  from  Mitchell  to  Hoover,  10/22/71.) 

*"'  Richard  Kleindienst  testimony.  Senate  Judiciary  Committee,  2/24/72.  p.  (54 

^^FBI  routing  slip  attached  to  Washington  Post  article.  2/24/72.  The  FBI's 
summary  of  its  "guidelines,"  submitted  to  the  Attorney  General  stated  that  its 
investigations  were  partly  based  on  criminal  statutes,  but  that  "subversive  activ- 
ity .  .  .  often  does  not  clearly  involve  a  specific  .section  of  a  specific  statute." 
Tlius.  investigations  were  also  based  on  the  1939  Roosevelt  directives  which  were 
said  to  have  been  "reiterated  and  broadened  by  subsequent  Directives."  (Attach- 
ment to  Hoover  memorandum  to  Kleindienst,  2/25/72. )  (Emphasis  added. ) 

639rpjjp  i)ackground  for  this  development  may  be  summarized  as  follows:  In 
May  1972,  FBI  intelligence  officials  prepared  a  "position  paper"  for  Acting  Direc- 
tor L.  Patrick  Gray.  This  paper  merely  recited  the  various  Presidential  directives. 
Executive  Orders,  delimitation  agreements,  and  general  authorizations  from  the 
Attorney  General,  with  no  attempt  at  analysis.  (FBI  Domestic  Intelligence  Divi- 
sion. Position  Paper:  Investigations  of  Subversion.  5/19/72.)  Assistant  Director 
E.  S.  Miller,  head  of  the  Domestic  Intelligence  Division,  withdrew  this  paper  at  a 
conference  with  Gray  and  other  top  Bureau  otficials ;  Miller  then  initiated  work 
on  a  more  extensive  position  paper,  which  was  completed  in  July.  It  concluded 
that  domestic  intelligence  investigations  could  practicably  be  based  on  the  "con- 
cept" that  their  purpose  was  "to  prevent  a  violation  of  ,a  statute."  The  paper  also 
indicated  that  the  ADEX  would  be  revi.sed  so  that  it  could  not  lie  "interpreted  as 
a  means  to  circumvent  repeal  of  the  Emersrency  Detention  Act."  (FBI  Domestic 
Intelligence  Division :  Position  Paper :  Scope  of  FBI  Authority,  7/31/72 :  T.  J. 
Smith  to  E.  S.  Miller.  8/1/72.) 

'""  Gray  did  order  that  the  Bureau  should  indicate  its  "jurisdictional  authority'' 
to  investigate  in  every  case,  "liy  citing  the  pertinent  provision  of  the  U.S.  Code, 
or  other  .authority."  and  that  the  Bureau  should  "indicate  whether  or  not 
an  investigation  was  directed  by  DJ  (Department  of  Justice),  or  we  opened  it 
without  any  request  from  DJ."  In  the  latter  case,  the  Bureau  was  to  "cite  our 
reasons."  (FBI  routing  slip,  8/27/72.) 


on  its  own  to  revise  the  pertinent  Manual  sections  and  the  ADEX 
standards."^*^  The  list  was  to  be  trimmed  to  those  who  were  "an  actual 
danger  now,"  reducing  the  number  of  persons  on  the  ADEX  by  two- 

A  revision  of  the  FBI  Manual  was  completed  by  May  1973.  It  was 
described  as  "a  major  step"  away  from  "heavy  reliance  upon  Presiden- 
tial Directives"  to  an  approach  "based  on  existing  Federal  statutes.^^^ 
Although  field  offices  were  instructed  to  "close"  investigations  not 
meeting  the  new  criteria,  headquarters  did  not  want  "a  massive  review 
on  crash  basis"  of  all  existing  cases.''" 

After  a  series  of  regional  conferences  with  field  office  supervisors, 
the  standards  were  revised  to  allow  greater  flexibility.''^^  For  the  first 
time  in  FBI  history,  a  copy  of  the  Manual  section  for  "domestic  sub- 
versive investigations"  was  sent  to  the  Attorney  General.^*® 

After  Clarence  M.  Kelley  was  confirmed  as  FBI  Director,  he  au- 
thorized a  request  for  guidance  from  Attorney  General  Elliot  Rich- 
ardson.*'*'' Kelley  advised  that  it  "would  be  folly"  to  limit  the  Bureau 

°"  One  official  observed  that  there  were  "some  individuals  now  included  in 
ADEX  even  though  they  do  not  realistically  pose  a  threat  to  the  national  secu- 
rity." He  added  that  this  would  leave  the  Bureau  "in  a  vulnerable  position  if  our 
guidelines  were  to  be  scrutinized  by  interested  Congressional  Committees."  (Mem- 
orandum from  T.  J.  Smith  to  E.  S.  Miller,  8/29/72.) 

"*-  Memorandum  from  Smith  to  Miller.  S/29/72.  The  anticipated  reduction  was 
from  15.2.59  (the  current  figure)  to  4,786  (the  top  two  priority  categories).  The 
Justice  Department  was  advised  of  this  change.  (Memorandum  from  Gray  to 
Kleindienst,  9/18/72. ) 

''*^  Draft  copies  were  distributed  to  the  field  for  suggestions.  (E.  S.  Miller  to 
Mr.  Felt,  5/22/73. ) 

^^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SAC's,  6/7/73.  The  memorandum 
to  the  field  stated,  looking  back  on  past  Bureau  policy,  that  since  the  FBI's  au- 
thority to  investigate  "subversive  elements"  had  never  been  "seriously  challenged 
until  recently,"  Bureau  personnel  (and  "the  general  public")  had  accepted  "the 
FBI's  right  to  handle  internal  security  matters  and  investigate  subversive  activ- 
ities without  reference  to  specific  statutes."  But  the  "rationale"  based  on  "Presi- 
dential Directives"  was  no  longer  "adequate." 

The  field  was  advised  that  the  "chief  statutes"  upon  which  the  new  criteria 
were  l)ased  were  those  dealing  with  rebellion  or  insurrection  (18  U.S.C.  2583), 
seditious  conspiracy  (18  U.S.C.  2584)  and  advocating  overthrow  of  the  govern- 
ment (18  U.S.C.  2528).  The  ADEX  was  to  be  "strictly  an  administrative  device" 
and  should  play  no  part  "in  investigative  decisions  or  policies."  The  revision  also 
eliminated  "overemphasis"  on  the  Communist  Party. 

"«  For  example,  the  field  oflices  saw  the  need  to  undertake  "preliminary  in- 
quiries" before  it  was  known  "whether  a  statutory  basis  for  investigation  exists." 
This  specifically  applied  where  a  person  had  "contact  with  known  subversive 
groups  or  subjects,"  but  the  Bureau  did  not  know  "the  purpose  of  the  contact." 
Tliese  preliminary  investigations  could  go  on  for  at  least  90  days,  to  determine 
whether  "a  statutory  basis  for  a  full  investigation  exists."  Moreover,  at  the  urging 
of  the  field  supervisors,  the  period  for  a  preliminary  investigation  of  an  allegedly 
"subversive  organization"  was  expanded  from  45  to  90  days.  (Memorandum  from 
FBI  Headquarters  to  all  'SACs,  8/8/73. ) 

"*"  This  was  apparently  "in  connection  with"  a  request  made  earlier  by  Senator 
Edward  M.  Kennedy,  who  had  requested  to  see  this  section  at  the  time  of  the 
confirmation  hearings  for  Attorney  General  Kleindienst  in  1972.  (Kleindienst, 
Senate  .Judiciary  Committee,  2/24/72,  p.  64 ;  memorandum  from  Kelley  to  Rich- 
ardson, 8/7/7.3.) 

®*^  In  a  memorandum  to  the  Attorney  General.  Director  Kelle.v  cited  Senator 
Sam  .T.  Ervin's  view  that  the  FBI  should  be  prohibited  by  statute  "from  inve.sti- 
gating  any  person  without  the  individual's  consent,  unless  the  Government  has 
reason  to  believe  that  the  person  has  committed  a  crime  or  is  about  to  commit 
a  crime."  Kelley  then  summarized  the  position  paper  prepared  by  the  Domestic 


68-786  O  -  76  -  10 


to  investigations  only  when  a  crime  "has  been  committed,"  since  the 
government  had  to  "defend  itself  against  revolutionary  and  terrorist 
efforts  to  destroy  it."  Consequently,  he  urged  that  the  President  exer- 
cise his  "inherent  Executive  power  to  expand  by  further  defining  the 
FBI's  investigative  authority  to  enable  it  to  develop  advance  informa- 
tion" about  the  plans  of  "terrorists  and  revolutionaries  who  seek  to 
overthrow  or  destroy  the  Government."  *^*^  [Emphasis  added.] 

Director  Kelley's  request  initiated  a  process  of  reconsideration  of 
FBI  intelligence  authority  by  the  Attorney  General. ''^^ 

The  general  study  of  FBI  authority  was  superceded  in  December 
1973  when  Acting  Attorney  General  Robert  Bork,  in  consultation  with 
Attorney  General-designate  William  Saxbe,  e:ave  higher  priority  to  a 
Departmental  inquiry  into  the  FBI's  COINTELPRO  practices.  Re- 
sponsibility for  this  inquiry  was  assigned  to  a  committee  headed  by 
Assistant  Attorney  General  Henry  Peterson.^^° 

Even  at  this  stage,  the  Bureau  resisted  efforts  by  the  Department  to 
look  too  deeply  into  its  operations.  Dii-ector  Kelley  advised  the  Acting 
Attorney  General  that  the  Department  should  exclude  from  its  review 
the  FBI's  "extremely  sensitive  foreign  intelligence  collection  tech- 
niques." ^^^ 


Intelligence  Division  and  the  Bureau's  current  policy  of  attempting  to  rely  on 
statutory  authority.  However,  he  observed  that  the  statutes  upon  which  the 
FBI  was  relying  were  either  "designed  for  the  Civil  War  era.  not  the  Twentieth 
Century"  (the  rebellion  and  insurrection  laws)  or  had  been  "reduced  to  a  fragile 
shell  by  the  Supreme  Court"  (the  Smith  Act  dealing  with  advocacy  of  over- 
throw). Moreover,  it  was  difficult  to  fit  into  the  statutory  framework  groups 
"such  as  the  Ku  Klux  Klan,  which  do  not  seek  to  overthrow  the  Government, 
but  nevertheless  are  totalitarian  in  nature  and  seek  to  deprive  constitutionally 
guaranteed  rights." 

Kelley  stated  that,  while  the  FBI  had  "statutory  authority,"  it  still  needed 
"a  definite  requirement  from  the  President  as  to  the  nature  and  type  of  intelli- 
gence data  he  requires  in  the  pursuit  of  his  responsibilities  based  on  our  statutory 
authority."  (Emphasis  added.)  While  the  statutes  gave  "authority,"  an  Execu- 
tive Order  "would  define  our  national  security  objectives."  The  FBI  Director 
added : 

"It  would  appear  that  the  President  would  rather  spell  out  his  own  renuire- 
ments  in  an  Executive  Order  instead  of  having  Congress  tell  him  what  the  FBI 
might  do  to  help  him  fulfill  his  obligations  and  responsibilities  as  President." 

^^  :\Iemorandum  from  Kelley  to  Richardson,  8/7/73. 

®*''  Even  before  Kelley's  request.  Deputy  Attorney  General-Designate  WiHiam 
Ruckelshaus  (who  had  served  for  two  months  as  Acting  FBI  Director  between 
Gray  and  Kelley),  sent  a  list  of  questions  to  the  Bureau  to  begin  "an  in-dopth 
examination  of  some  of  the  problems  fa  cine:  the  Bureau  in  the  future."  (Memo- 
randum from  Ruckelshaus  to  Kelley,  7/20/7.3.)  The  Ruckelshaus  study  was 
interrupted  by  his  departure  in  the  "Saturdav  Night  Massacre"  of  October  1973. 

*""  Mpmorandum  from  Bork  to  Kelley,  12/.5/73. 

"^^  These  techniques  were  handled  within  the  Bureau  "on  a  strictly  need-to- 
know  basis"  and  Kelley  believed  that  they  should  not  be  included  in  a  study 
"which  win  be  beyond  the  control  of  the  FBI."  (Memorandum  from  Kelley  to 
Bork.  12/11/73.) 

One  Bureau  memorandum  to  the  Petersen  committee  even  suggested  that  the 
Attorney  General  did  not  have  authority  over  the  FBI's  foreign  connterintelli- 
gence  operations,  s'nce  the  Biireau  was  accountable  in  this  area  d1»-ectjv  to  the 
TTnited  State*;  Intellie-ence  Board  and  the  National  Security  Council.  (Petersen 
Committee  Report,  pp.  .34-3.5.)  The  Petersen  Committee  shnrplv  rejected  this 
view,  especiallv  because  the  ad  hoc  equivalent  of  the  TT.S.  Tntellisrence  Board 
had  approved  the  discredited  "Huston  plan"  in  1070.  Thp  Committee  declared: 
"There  can  be  no  donbt  that  in  the  area  of  foreign  counterintelligence,  as  in  all 
its  othpv  functions,  the  FBI  is  subject  to  the  power  and  authority  of  the  Attorney 
General."  (Petersen  Committee  Report,  p.  35.) 


As  a  result,  the  Petersen  committee's  review  of  COINTELPRO  did 
not  consider  anything  more  than  a  brief  FBI-prepared  summary  of 
foreign  counterintelligence  opei-ations.**^-  Moreover,  the  inquiry  into 
domestic  COINTELPRO  cases  was  based  mainly  on  short  summaries 
of  each  incident  compiled  by  FBI  agents,  with  Department  attorneys 
making  only  spot-checks  of  the  underlying  files  to  assure  the  accuracy 
of  the  summaries.  Thus,  the  inquiry  was  unable  to  consider  the 
complete  story  of  COINTELPRO  as  reflected  in  the  actual  memoranda 
discussing  the  reasons  for  adopting  particular  tactics  and  the  means 
by  which  they  were  implemented.*'^^ 

Thus,  at  the  same  time  that  the  Bureau  Avas  seeking  guidance  and 
clarification  of  its  authority,  vestiges  remained  of  its  past  resistance 
to  outside  scrutiny  and  its  desire  to  rely  on  Executive  authority,  rather 
than  statute,  for  the  definition  of  its  intelligence  activities. 

h.  Recent  Domestic  Intelligence  Authority 

In  the  absence  of  any  new  standards  imposed  by  statute,  or  by  the 
Attorney  General,  the  FBI  continued  to  collect  domestic  intelligence 
under  sweeping  authorizations  issued  by  the  Justice  Department  in 
1974  for  investigations  of  "subversives,"  potential  civil  disturbances, 
and  "potential  crimes."  These  authorizations  were  explicitly  based  on 
conceptions  of  inherent  Executive  power,  broader  in  theory  than  the 
FBI's  own  claim  in  1973  that  its  authority  could  be  found  in  the 
criminal  statues.  Attorney  General  Levi  has  recently  promulgated 
guidelines  which  stand  as  the  first  significant  attempt  by  the  Justice 
Department  to  set  standards  and  limits  for  FBI  domestic  intelligence 

(1)  Executive  Order  lOIfSO^  As  Amended  .—The  Federal  employee 
security  program  continued  to  serve  as  a  basis  for  FBI  domestic  intel- 
ligence investigations.  An  internal  Bureau  memorandum  stated  that 
the  Justice  Department's  instruction  regarding  the  program : 

specifically  requires  the  FBI  to  check  the  names  of  all  civil 
applicants  and  incumbents  of  the  Executive  Branch  against 
our  records.  In  order  to  meet  this  responsibility  FBIHQ 
records  must  contain  identities  of  all  persons  connected  with 
subversive  or  extremist  activities,  together  with  necessary 
identifying  information.*'^^ 

FBI  field  offices  were  instructed  in  mid-1974  to  report  to  Bureau 
headquarters  such  data  as  the  following : 

Identities  of  subversive  and/or  extremist  groups  or  move- 
ments (including  front  groups)  with  which  subject  has  been 
identified,  period  of  membership,  positions  held,  and  a  sum- 
mary of  the  type  and  extent  of  subversive  or  extremist  activi- 
ties engaged  in  by  subject  (e.g.,  attendance  at  meetings  or 

«=-  FBI  ^Ipmorandnm.  "Overall  Recommendations — Counterintelligence 
Activity,"  Appendix  to  Petersen  Committee  Report. 

^  Henry  Petersen  Testimony,  12/8/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  pp.  270-71. 

""'  Attorney  General's  Guidelines :  "Domestic  Security  Investigations,"  "Re- 
porting on  Civil  Disorders  and  Demonstrations  Involving  a  Federal  Interest," 
and  "White  House  Personnel   Security  and  Background  Investigations." 

*""  Memorandum  from  A.  R.  Fulton  to  Mr.  Wannall.  7/10/74.  See  pp.  42-44  for 
discussion  of  the  initiation  of  the  program. 


other  functions,  fimdraising  or  recruiting  activities  on  behalf 
of  the  organization,  contributions,  etc.)  .^^^ 

In  June  1974,  President  Nixon  formally  abolished  the  "Attorney 
General's  list,"  upon  the  recommendation  of  Attorney  General  Saxbe. 
However,  the  President's  order  retained  a  revised  definition  of  the 
types  of  organizations,  apsocintion  winch  wonld  still  be  considered  in 
evaluating  prospective  federal  employees.^^^  The  Justice  Department 
instructed  the  FBI  that  it  should  "detect  organizations  with  a  poten- 
tial" for  falling  within  the  terms  of  the  order  and  investigate  "indi- 
viduals who  are  active  either  as  members  of  or  as  affiliates  of"  such 
organizations.  The  Department  instructions  added: 

It  is  not  necessary  that  a  crime  occur  before  the  investiga- 
tion is  initiated,  but  only  that  a  reasonable  evaluation  of  the 
available  information  suggests  that  the  activities  of  the  orga- 
nization may  fall  within  the  prescription  of  the  Order.  .  .  . 

It  is  not  possihle  to  set  definite  ^mrameters  covenng  the 
init'fat'wn  of  investigations  of  potential  organizations  falling 
within  the  Order  but  once  the  investigation  reaches  a  stage 
that  offers  a  basis  for  determining  that  the  activities  are  legal 
in  nature,  then  the  investigation  should  cease,  but  if  the 
investigation  suggests  a  detennination  that  the  organization 
is  engaged  in  illegal  activities  or  potentially  illegal  activities 
it  should  continue.  [Emphasis  added.] 

The  Department  applied  "the  same  yardstick"  to  investigations  of 
individuals  "when  information  is  received  suggesting  their  involve- 
ment." ^^^ 

(2)  Civil  Dif^orders  Intelligence. — The  Justice  Department  also 
instnicted  the  FBI  in  1974  that  it  should  not,  as  the  Bureau  had  sug- 
gested, limit  its  civil  disturbance  reporting  "to  those  particular  situ- 
ations which  are  of  such  a  serious  nature  that  Federal  military 
personnel  may  be  called  upon  for  assistance."  The  Department  advised 
that  this  suggested  "guideline"  was  "not  practical"  since  it  "would 
place  the  burden  on  the  Bureau"  to  make  an  initial  decision  as  to 
"whether  military  personnel  mav  uHimatelv  be  needed."  and  this 
responsibility  rested  "legally"  with  the  President.  Instead,  the  FBI 
was  ordered  to  "continue"  to  report  on 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs,  8/16/74. 

^'  Executive  Order  11785,  6/4/74.  The  new  standard :  "Knowing  member- 
ship with  tlie  specific  intent  of  furthering  the  aims  of.  or  adherence  to  and  active 
participation  in,  anv  foreign  or  domrstic  ornranization,  association,  movement, 
group,  or  combination  of  persons  (hereinafter  referred  to  as  organizations) 
whicli  unlawfull.v  adi:ocaies  or  practices  tlie  commission  of  acts  of  force  or 
violence  to  prevent  others  from  exercising  tlieir  rights  under  the  Constitution  or 
laws  of  the  United  States  or  of  any  state,  or  which  seelvs  to  overthrow  the  Govern- 
ment of  the  Ignited  States  or  atiy  State  or  subdivisions  thereof  by  unlawful 
menus."  [Emphasis  added.] 

^^  Memorandum  from  Glen  E.  Pommerening,  Assistant  Attorney  General  for 
Administration,  to  Kelley,  11/17/74. 

With  respect  to  one  organization,  the  Department  advised  the  Bureau  that 
"despite  the  abolition"  of  the  Attorney  General's  list,  the  groiip  "would  still 
come  within  the  criteria"  of  the  employee  security  program  if  it  "may  have 
eneaged  in  activities"  of  the  sort  i^roscribed  by  the  revised  executive  order. 
(Memorandum  from  Henry  E.  Petersen  to  Clarence  Kelley,  11/13/74.) 


all  significant  incidents  of  civil  unrest  and  should  not  be 
restricted  to  situations  where,  in  the  judgment  of  the  Bureau, 
military  pereonnel  eventually  may  be  used.^^° 

Moreover,  under  this  authority  the  Bureau  was  also  ordered  to 
"continue"  reporting  on 

all  disturbances  where  there  are  indications  that  extremist  or- 
ganizations such  as  the  Communist  Party,  Ku  Klux  Klan,  or 
Black  Panther  Party  are  believed  to  be  involved  in  efforts 
to  instigate  or  exploit  them. 

The  instnictions  specifically  declared  that  the  Bureau  "should  make 
timely  reports  of  significant  disturbances,  even  when  no  specific  viola- 
tion of  Federal  law  is  indicated.-'  This  was  to  be  done,  at  least  in  part, 
through  "liaison"  with  local  law  enforcement  agencies. '''^^ 

Even  after  the  Justice  Department's  IDIU  dismantled  its  com- 
puterized data  bank,  its  basic  functions  continued  to  be  performed 
by  a  Civil  Disturbance  Unit  in  the  office  of  the  Deputy  Attorney  Gen- 
eral, and  the  FBI  was  under  instructions  to  disseminate  its  civil  dis- 
turbance reports  to  that  Unit.''*^^ 

FBI  officials  considered  these  instructions  "significant"  because  they 
gave  it  "an  official,  written  mandate  from  the  Department."  The 
Department's  desires  were  viewed  as  "consistent  with  what  we  have 
already  been  doing  for  the  past  several  years,"  although  the  Bureau 
Manual  was  rewritten  to  "incorporate  into  it  excerpts  from  the 
Department's  letter."  °^^ 

(3)  ^'"PotentiaV  Crhnes. — The  FBI  recently  abolished  completely 
the  administrative  index  (ADEX)  of  persons  considered  "dangerous 
now."  However,  the  Justice  Department  has  advanced  a  theory  to 
sup]3ort  broad  power  for  the  Executive  Branch  in  investigating  groups 
which  represent  a  "potential  threat  to  the  public  safety"  or  which  have 
a  "potential"  for  violating  specific  statutes.  For  example,  the  Depart- 
ment advised  the  FBI  that  the  General  Crimes  Section  of  the  Criminal 
Di^'ision  had  "recommended  continued  investigation"  of  one  group  on 
the  basis  of  "potential  violations"  of  the  antiriot  statutes.*^*^^  These  same 

^  "On  the  other  hand,"  the  instructions  stated  ambiguously,  "the  FBI  should 
not  report  every  minor  local  disturbance  where  there  is  no  apparent  interest  to 
the  President,  the  Attorney  General  or  other  Government  officials  and  agencies." 
(Memorandum  from  Petersen  to  Kelley,  10/22/74.) 

*"  Memorandum  from  Petersen  to  Kelley,  10/22/74.  The  FBI  was  expected  to 
"be  aware  of  disturbances  and  patterns  of  disorder,"  although  it  is  not  to  report 
"each  and  every  relatively  insignificant  incident  of  a  strictly  local  nature." 

"'-  Memorandum  from  Petersen  to  Kelley,  10/22/74.  Frank  Nyland  testimony, 
1/27/76,  pp.  46-58. 

**^  Memorandum  from  J.  G.  Deegan  to  W.  R.  Wannall,  10/30/74.  From  a 
legal  viewpoint,  the  Justice  Department's  instructors  dealing  with  the  col- 
lection of  intelligence  on  potential  civil  disturbances  were  significant  because 
they  relied  for  authority  on  :  (1)  the  President's  powers  under  Article  IV,  section 
4  of  the  Constitution  to  protect  the  states,  upon  application  of  the  legislature  or 
the  executive,  against  "domestic  violence;"  (2)  the  statute  (10  U.S.C.  331.  et 
seq.)  authorizing  the  use  of  troops;  and  (3)  the  Presidential  directive  of  1969 
desigmting  the  Attorney  General  as  chief  civilian  officer  to  coordinate  the 
Government's  response  to  civil  disturbances.  (Memorandum  from  Petersen  to 
Kellev,  10/22/74 ;  Memorandum  from  Melvin  Laird  and  John  Mitchell  to  the 
President,  4/1/69.) 

^''IS  U.S.C.  2101-2102. 


instructions  added  that  there  need  not  be  a  "potential"  for  violation 
of  any  specific  statute.^^*' 

(4)  CJaim  of  Inherent  Executwe  Poioer. — The  Department's  theory 
of  executive  power  was  set  forth  in  1974  testimony  before  the  House 
Internal  Security  Committee.  According  to  Deputy  Assistant  Attorney 
General  Kevin  Maroney,  "the  primary  basis"  for  FBI  domestic  intel- 
ligence authority  rests  in  "the  constitutional  powers  and  responsibili- 
ties vested  in  the  President  under  Article  II  of  the  Constitution." 
These  powers  were  specified  as :  the  President's  duty  imdertakon  in  his 
oath  of  office  to  "preserve,  protect,  and  defend  the  Constitution  of  the 
United  States;"  ''^  the  Chief  Executive's  duty  to  "take  Care  that  the 
Laws  be  faithfully  executed :"  '^^^  the  President's  responsibilities  as 
Commander-in-Chief  of  the  military;  and  his  "power  to  conduct  our 
foreign  relations."  ^^^ 

The  chairman  of  the  Internal  Security  Committee,  Rep.  Richard  H. 
Ichord,  stated  at  that  time  that,  except  in  limited  areas,  tlie  Congiess 
"has  not  directly  imposed  upon  the  FBI  clearly  defined  duties  in  the 
acquisition,  use,  or  dissemination  of  domestic  or  internal  security 
intelligence."  ®^° 

Subsequently,  the  FBI  Intelligence  Division  revised  its  1972-1973 
position  on  its  legal  authority,  and  in  a  paper  completed  in  1975  it 
returned  to  the  view  "that  the  intelligence-gathering  activities  of  the 
FBI  have  had  as  their  basis  the  intention  of  the  President  to  delegate 

^  Memorandum  from  Petersen  to  Kelley,  11/13/74.  This  memorandum  added  : 

"[Wjithout  a  broad  range  of  intelligence  information,  the  President  and  the 
departments  and  agencies  of  the  Executive  Branch  could  not  properly  and  ade- 
quately protect  our  nation's  security  and  enforce  the  numerous  statutes  pertain- 
ing thereto  .  .  .  [T]he  Department,  and  in  particular  the  Attorney  General, 
must  continue  to  be  informed  of  those  organizations  that  engage  in  violence  which 
represent  a  potential  threat  to  the  puWie  safety.'"  [Emphasis  added.] 

*®''The  opinion  of  the  Supreme  Court  in  the  United  States  v.  United  States 
Distriet  Court,  407  U.S.  297  (1972) — the  domestic  security  wiretapping  case — 
stated,  "Implicit  in  that  duty  is  the  power  to  protect  our  Government  against 
those  who  would  subvert  or  overthrow  it  by  unlawful  means.!' 

™'  A  19th  century  Supreme  Court  opinion  was  cited  as  having  interpreted  the 
word  "laws"  hroadl.v  to  encompass  not  only  statutes  enacted  by  Congress,  but 
also  "the  rights,  duties,  and  obligations  growing  out  of  the  Constitution  itself, 
our  international  relations  and  all  the  protection  implied  liy  the  nature  of  Gov- 
ernment under  the  Constitution."  [Tn  Re  Neagle,  135  U.S.  1    (1890).] 

689  The  latter  power  w^as  said  to  relate  "more  particularly  to  the  Executive's 
power  to  conduct  foreign  intelligence  activities  here  and  abroad."  (Kevin  Maroney 
testimony,  "Domestic  Intelligence  Operations  :for  Internal  Security  Purposes," 
Hearings  before  the  House  Committee  on  Internal  Security,  93d  Cong.,  2d  Sess. 
(1974),  pp.  .3.332-3335.)   Mr.  Maroney  added: 

"We  recognize  the  complexity  and  difficulty  of  adequately  spelling  out  the 
FBI's  authority  and  responsibility  to  conduct  domestic  intelligence-type  investi- 
gations. The  concept  national  security  is  admittedly  a  broad  one,  while  the  term 
subversive  activities  is  even  more  difficult  to  define." 

Mr.  Marone.v  also  cited  the  following  from  the  Supreme  Court's  opinion  in  the 
domestic  security  wiretapping  case :  "The  gathering  of  security  intelligence  is 
often  long-range  and  involves  the  interrelation  of  various  sources  and  t.vpes  of 
information.  The  exact  targets  of  such  surveillance  may  be  more  difficult  to 
identify  .  .  .  Often,  too.  the  empha.=:is  of  domestic  intelligence  gathering-  is  on 
the  prevention  of  unlawful  activity  or  the  enhancement  of  the  Government's  pre- 
paredness for  some  possible  future  crisis  or  emergenc.v.  Thus,  the  focus  of 
domestic  surveillance  ma.v  be  less  precise  than  that  directed  against  more  con- 
ventional types  of  crime."  [United  States  v.  United  States  District  Court,  407 
U.S.  297,  322   (1972).] 

*™  House  Committee  on  Internal  Security  Hearings,  1974,  pp.  3330-3331. 


his  Constitutional  authority,"  as  well  as  the  statutes  "pertaining  to  the 
national  security."  '^''^ 

The  Attorney  General  has  continued  to  assert  the  claim  of  inherent 
executive  power  to  conduct  warrantless  electronic  surveillance  of 
American  citizens,  although  this  power  has  been  exercised  sparingly.®" 
The  Justice  Department  has  also  claimed  that  this  inherent  executive 
power  permits  warrantless  surreptitious  entries.*^^^  However,  the  Exec- 
utive Branch  has  recently  joined  a  bipartisan  group  of  Senators  and 
Representatives  in  sponsoring  a  legislative  proposal  requiring  judicial 
warrants  for  all  electronic  surveillance  by  the  FBI. 

(5)  Attoimey  General  Levi's  Guidelines. — During  1975,  the  Con- 
gress and  the  Executive  Branch  began  major  eft'orts  to  review  the 
field  of  domestic  intelligence.  A  Presidential  commission  headed  by 
Vice  President  Rockefeller  inquired  into  the  CIA's  improper  sur- 
veillance of  Americans.'^'^  Attorney  General  Edward  H.  Levi  estab- 
lished a  committee  in  the  Justice  Department  to  develop  "guidelines" 
for  the  FBI,*''^  and  the  Justice  Department  began  to  work  on  draft 
legislation  to  require  warrants  for  national  security  electronic  sur- 

These  efforts  have  begun  to  bear  fruit  in  recent  months.  President 
Ford  has  issued  an  Executive  Order  regulating  foreign  intelligence 
activities ;  ®"  Attorney  General  Levi  has  promulgated  several  sets  of 
"guidelines"  for  the  FBI.*^'^  And  the  administration  has  endorsed  a 
specific  bill  to  establish  a  warrant  procedure  for  all  national  security 
wiretaps  and  bugs  in  the  United  States.^"^ 

"•^  W.  Raymond  Wannall,  Assistant  Director  for  tlie  Intelligence  Division. 
Memorandum  on  the  "Basis  for  FBI  National  Security  Intelligence  Investiga- 
tions," 2/13/75. 

•^"^  After  several  recent  transformations,  the  policy  of  the  Attorney  General 
was  estahlished  as  authorizing  warrantless  surveillance  "only  when  it  is  shown 
that  its  suhjects  are  the  active,  conscious  agents  of  foreign  powers;"  and  this 
standard  "is  applied  with  particular  stringency  where  the  subjects  are  American 
citizens  or  permanent  resident  aliens."  (.Justice  Department  memorandum  from 
Ron  Carr,  Special  Assistant  to  the  Attorney  General,  to  Mike  Shaheen,  Counsel 
on  Professional  Re.sponsibility,  2/26/76. ) 

®"  In  May  1975,  for  the  first  time  in  American  history,  the  Department  of 
.Justice  publicly  asserted  the  power  of  the  Executive  Branch  to  conduct  warrant- 
less surreptitious  entries  unconnected  with  the  use  of  electronic  surveillance.  This 
occurred  in  a  letter  to  the  United  States  Court  of  Appeals  for  the  District  of  Co- 
lumbia concerning  an  appeal  by  .John  Ehrlichman.  Ehrlichman  was  appealing  a 
conviction  arising  from  the  break-in  at  the  office  of  Daniel  EUsberg's  psychiatrist 
after  publication  of  the  "Pentagon  Papers"  in  1971. 

The  Justice  Department's  position  was  that  "warrantless  searches  involving 
physical  entries  into  private  premises"  can  be  "lawful  under  the  Fourth  Amend- 
ment." if  they  are  "very  carefully  controlled  :" 

"There  must  be  solid  reason  to  believe  that  foreign  espionage  or  intelligence  is 
involved.  In  addition,  the  intrusion  into  any  zone  of  expected  privacy  must  be 
kept  to  the  minimum  and  there  must  l>e  personal  authorization  by  the  President 
or  the  Attorney  General."  (Letter  from  John  C.  Kenney,  Acting  Assistant  Attorney 
General,  to  Hugh  E.  Cline.  Clerk  of  the  United  States  Court  of  Appeals  for  the 
Distrir-t  of  Columbia,  5/9/7.5.) 

'"^  Rockefeller  Commission  Report. 

«^  Levi.  12/11/75.  Hearings.  Vol.  6.  pp.  316-317. 

*••  Levi.  11/6/75.  Hearings,  Vol.  5,  p.  90. 

*"  Executive  Order  11509.  2/1S/76. 

'"  Attorney  General's  Guidelines.  "Domestic  Security  Investigations".  "White- 
house  Personnel  Security  and  Background  Investigations",  and  "Reporting  on 
Civil  Disorders  and  Demonstrations  Im-olving  a   Federal  Interest",  3/10/76. 

*"'  S.  3197,  introduced  3/23/76. 


These  Executive  initiatives  are  a  major  step  forward  in  creating 
safeguards  and  establishing  standards,  but  they  are  incomplete  with- 
out legislation.''^'^  Among  the  issues  left  open  by  the  President's 
Executive  Order,  for  example,  are:  (1)  the  definition  of  the  term 
"foreign  subversion"  used  to  characterize  the  counter-intelligence 
responsibilities  of  the  CIA  and  the  FBI;  and  (2)  clarification  of  the 
vague  provisions  in  the  National  Security  Act  of  1947  relating  to  the 
authority  of  the  Director  of  Central  Intelligence  to  protect  "sources" 
and  "methods;"  and  (3)  amplification  of  the  1947  Act's  prohibition 
against  the  CIA's  exercise  of  "law  enforcement  powers"  or  "internal 
security  functions." 

Although  they  represent  only  a  partial  answer  to  the  need  for  per- 
manent restraints,  the  initiatives  of  the  Executive  Branch  demon- 
strate a  willingness  to  seriously  consider  the  need  for  legislative 
action.  The  Attorney  General  has  recognized  that  Executive  "guide- 
lines" are  not  enough  to  regulate  and  authorize  FBI  intelligence 
activities.*^^^  The  Committee's  conclusions  and  recommendations  in 
Part  IV  of  this  report  indicate  the  areas  most  in  need  of  legislative 

*'°  The  major  questions  posed  by  the  President's  Executive  Order  and  the 
Attorney  General's  guidelines  for  the  FBI  are  discussed  in  the  recommendation 
section  of  this  report,  as  are  the  problems  with  the  national  security  electronic 
surveillance  bill. 

'"  Levi  Testimony,  12/11/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  345. 


The  Committee  makes  seven  major  findings.  Eacli  finding  is  accom- 
panied by  snbfindings  and  by  an  elaboration  wliich  draws  upon  the 
evidentiary  record  set  forth  in  our  historical  narrative  (Part  II  here- 
in) and  in  the  thirteen  detailed  reports  which  will  be  published  as  sup- 
plements to  this  volume.  We  have  sought  to  analyze  in  our  findings 
characteristics  shared  by  intelligence  programs,  practices  which  in- 
volved abuses,  and  general  problems  in  the  system  which  led  to  those 

The  findings  treat  the  following  themes  that  run  through  the  facts 
revealed  by  our  investigation  of  domestic  intelligence  activity:  (A) 
Violating  and  Ignoring  the  Law;  (B)  Overbreadth  of  Domestic  In- 
telligence Activity ;  (C)  Excessive  Use  of  Intrusive  Techniques ;  (D) 
Using  Covert  Action  to  Disrupt  and  Discredit  Domestic  Groups; 
(E)  Political  Abuse  of  Intelligence  Information;  (F)  Inadequate 
Controls  on  Dissemination  and  Retention;  (G)  Deficiencies  in  Con- 
trol and  Accountability. 

Viewed  separately,  each  finding  demonstrates  a  serious  problem  in 
the  conduct  and  control  of  domestic  intelligence  operations.  Taken 
together,  they  make  a  compelling  case  for  the  necessity  of  change. 
Our  recommendations  (in  Part  IV)  flow  from  this  analysis  and  pro- 
pose changes  which  the  Committee  believes  to  be  appropriate  in  light 
of  the  record. 

Major  Finding 

The  Committee  finds  that  the  domestic  activities  of  the  intelligence 
community  at  times  violated  specific  statutory  prohibitions  and 
infringed  the  constitutional  rights  of  American  citizens.^  The  legal 
questions  involved  in  intelligence  programs  were  often  not  considered. 
On  other  occasions,  they  were  intentionally  disregarded  in  the  be- 
lief that  because  the  programs  served  the  "national  security"  the  law 
did  not  apply.  While  intelligence  officers  on  occasion  failed  to  disclose 
to  their  superiors  programs  which  were  illegal  or  of  questionable  le- 
gality, the  Committee  finds  that. the  most  serious  breaches  of  duty 
were  those  of  senior  officials,  who  were  responsible  for  controlling 
intelligence  activities  and  generally  failed  to  assure  compliance  with 
the  law. 


(a)  In  its  attempt  to  implement  instructions  to  protect  the  security 
of  the  United  States,  the  intelligence  connnunity  engaged  in  some  ac- 

^  This  section  discusses  the  legal  issues  raised  by  particular  programs  and  ac- 
tivities only  :  a  rliscussion  of  the  aggregate  effect  upon  constitutional  rights  of  all 
domestic  surveillance  practices  is  at  p.  290  of  the  Conclusions  section. 



tivities  which  violated  statutory  law  and  the  constitutional  rights  of 
American  citizens. 

(b)  Legal  issues  were  often  overlooked  by  many  of  the  intelligence 
officers  who  directed  these  operations.  Some  held  a  pragmatic  view  of 
intelligence  activities  that  did  not  regularly  attach  sufficient  signifi- 
cance to  questions  of  legality.  The  question  raised  was  usually  not 
whether  a  particular  program  Avas  legal  or  ethical,  but  whether  it 

(c)  On  some  occasions  when  agency  officials  did  assume,  or  were  told, 
that  a  program  was  illegal,  they  still  permitted  it  to  continue.  They 
justified  their  conduct  in  some  cases  on  the  ground  that  the  failure  of 
"the  enemy"  to  play  by  the  rules  granted  them  the  right  to  do  likewise, 
and  in  other  cases  on  the  ground  that  the  "national  security"  per- 
mitted programs  that  would  otherwise  be  illegal. 

(d)  Internal  recognition  of  the  illegality  or  the  questionable  le- 
gality of  many  of  these  activities  frequently  led  to  a  tightening  of  se- 
curity rather  than  to  their  termination.  Partly  to  avoid  exposure  and  a 
public  "flap,"  knowledge  of  these  programs  was  tightly  held  within 
the  agencies,  special  filing  procedures  were  used,  and  "cover  stories" 
were  devised. 

(e)  On  occasion,  intelligence  agencies  failed  to  disclose  candidly 
their  programs  and  practices  to  their  own  General  Counsels,  and  to 
Attorneys  General,  Presidents,  and  Congress. 

(f)  The  internal  inspection  mechanisms  of  the  CIA  and  the  FBI 
did  not  keep — and,  in  the  case  of  the  FBI,  were  not  designed  to  keep — 
the  activities  of  those  agencies  within  legal  bounds.  Their  primary 
concern  was  efficiency,  not  legality  or  propriety. 

(g)  Wlien  senior  administration  officials  with  a  duty  to  control 
domestic  intelligence  activities  knew,  or  had  a  basis  for  suspecting, 
that  questionable  activities  had  occurred,  they  often  responded  with 
silence  or  approval.  In  certain  cases,  they  were  presented  with  a  par- 
tial description  of  a  program  but  did  not  ask  for  details,  thereby 
abdicating  their  responsibility.  In  other  cases,  they  were  fully  aware 
of  the  nature  of  the  practice  and  implicitly  or  explicitly  approved  it. 

Elaboration  of  findings 

The  elaboration  which  follows  details  the  general  finding  of  the 
Committee  that  inattention  to — and  disregard  of — legal  issues  was 
an  all  too  common  occurrence  in  the  intelligence  community.  While 
this  section  focuses  on  the  actions  and  attitudes  of  intelligence  officials 
and  certain  high  policy  officials,  i\\&  Committee  recognizes  that  a 
pattern  of  lawless  activity  does  not  result  from  the  deeds  of  a  single 
stratum  of  the  government  or  of  a  few  individuals  alone.  The  imj^le- 
mentation  and  continuation  of  illegal  and  questionable  programs 
would  not  have  been  possible  witliout  the  cooperation  or  tacit  approval 
of  people  at  all  levels  within  and  above  the  intelligence  community, 
through  many  successive  administrations. 

The  agents  in  the  field,  for  their  part,  rarely  questioned  the  orders 
they  received.  Their  often  uncertain  knowledge  of  the  law,  coupled 
with  the  natural  desire  to  please  one's  superiors  and  with  simple 
bureaucratic  momentum,  clearly  contributed  to  their  willingness  to 
participate  in  illec:al  and  questionable  ]:)rograms.  The  absence  of  any 
prosecutions  for  law^  violations  by  intelligence  agents  inevitably  af- 


fected  their  attitudes  as  well.  Under  pressure  from  above  to  accom- 
plish their  assigned  tasks,  and  without  the  realistic  threat  of  prosecu- 
tion to  remind  them  of  their  legal  obligations,  it  is  understandable 
that  these  agents  frequently  acted  without  concern  for  issues  of  law 
and  at  times  assumed  that  normal  legal  restraints  and  prohibitions 
did  not  apply  to  their  activities. 

Significantly,  those  officials  at  the  highest  levels  of  government, 
who  had  a  duty  to  control  the  activities  of  the  intelligence  community, 
sometimes  set  in  motion  the  very  forces  that  permitted  lawlessness  to 
occur — even  if  every  act  committed  by  intelligence  agencies  was  not 
known  to  them.  By  demanding  results  without  carefully  limiting  the 
means  by  which  the  results  were  achieved;  by  over-emphasizing  the 
threats  to  national  security  without  ensuring  sensitivity  to  the  rights 
of  American  citizens ;  and  by  propounding  concepts  such  as  the  right 
of  the  "sovereign"  to  break  the  law,  ultimate  responsibility  for  the 
consequent  climate  of  permissiveness  should  be  placed  at  their  door.^ 

Suhfinding  (a) 

In  its  attempt  to  implement  instructions  to  protect  the  security  of 
the  United  States,  the  intelligence  community  engaged  in  some  acti\d- 
ties  which  violated  statutory  law  and  the  constitutional  rights  of 
American  citizens. 

From  1940  to  1973,  the  CIA  and  the  FBI  engaged  in  twelve  covert 
mail  opening  programs  in  violation  of  Sections  1701-1703  of  Title  18 
of  the  United  States  Code  which  prohibit  the  obstruction,  intercep- 
tion, or  opening  of  mail.  Both  of  these  agencies  also  engaged  in  war- 
rantless "surreptitious  entries'' — break-ins — against  American  citizens 
within  the  United  States  in  apparent  violation  of  state  laws  prohibit- 
ing trespass  and  burglary.  Section  605  of  the  Federal  Communications 
Act  of  1934  was  violated  by  NSA's  program  for  obtaining  millions 
of  telegrams  of  Americans  unrelated  to  foreign  targets  and  by  the 
Army  Security  Agency's  interception  of  domestic  radio  communi- 

All  of  these  activities,  as  well  as  the  FBI's  use  of  electronic  surveil- 
lance without  a  substantial  national  security  predicate,  also  infringed 
the  rights  of  countless  Americans  under  the  Fourth  Amendment 
protection  "aaainst  unreasonable  searches  and  seizures." 

The  abusive  techniques  used  by  the  FBI  in  COINTELPRO  from 
1956  to  1971  included  violations  of  both  federal  and  state  statutes  pro- 
hibiting mail  fraud,  wire  fraud,  incitement  to  violence,  sending 
obscene  material  through  the  mail,  and  extortion.  More  fundamentally, 
the  harassment  of  innocent  citizens  engaged  in  lawful  forms  of  polit- 
ical expression  did  serious  injury  to  the  First  Amendment  guarantee 
of  freedom  of  speech  and  the  right  of  the  people  to  assemble  peaceabl}" 
and  to  petition  tlie  government  for  a  redress  of  grievances.  The 
Bureau's  maintenance  of  the  Security  Index,  which  targeted  thousands 
of  American  citizens  for  detention  in  the  event  of  national  emergency, 
clearly  overstepped  the  permissible  l30unds  established  by  Congress 
in  the  Emergency  Detention  Act  of  1950  and  represented,  in  contra- 
vention of  the  Act,  a  potential  general  suspension  of  the  privilege 

'  Thp  accountability  of  senior  administration  oflBcials  is  noted  here  to  place 
the  details  which  follow  in  their  proper  context,  and  is  developed  at  greater 
length  in  Finding  G,  p.  265. 


of  the  writ  of  habeas  corpus  secured  by  Article  I,  Section  9,  of  the 

A  distressing-  number  of  the  programs  and  techniques  developed 
by  the  intelligence  community  involved  transgressions  against  human 
decency  that  were  no  less  serious  than  any  technical  violations  of  law. 
Some  of  the  most  fundamental  values  of  this  society  were  threatened  by 
activities  such  as  the  smear  campaign  against  Dr.  Martin  Luther 
King,  Jr.,  the  testing  of  dangerous  drugs  on  unsuspecting  American 
citizens,  the  dissemination  of  information  about  the  sex  lives,  drinking 
habits,  and  marital  problems  of  electronic  surveillance  targets,  and 
the  COINTELPRO  attempts  to  turn  dissident  organizations  against 
one  another  and  to  destroy  marriages. 

SkI) finding  (b) 

Legal  issues  were  often  overlooked  by  many  of  the  intelligence 
officers  who  directed  these  operations.  Some  held  a  pragmatic  view 
of  intelligence  activities  that  did  not  regularly  attach  sufficient  sig- 
nificance to  questions  of  legality.  The  question  raised  was  usually  not 
whether  a  particular  program  was  legal  or  ethical,  but  whether  it 

Legal  issues  were  clearly  not  a  primary  consideration — if  they  were 
a  consideration  at  all — in  many  of  the  programs  and  techniques  of 
the  intelligence  community.  When  the  former  head  of  the  FBI's  Ra- 
cial Intelligence  Section  was  asked  whether  anvbody  in  the  FBI  at 
any  time  during  the  15-year  course  of  COINTELPBO  discussed  its 
constitutionality  or  legal  autl^ority,  for  example,  he  replied :  "No,  we 
never  gave  it  a  thought."  ''  This  attitude  is  echoed  by  other  Bureau 
officials  in  connection  with  other  programs.  The  former  Section  Chief 
of  one  of  the  FBI's  Counterintelligence  sections,  and  the  former 
Assistant  Director  of  the  Bureau's  Domestic  Intelligence  Division 
both  testified  that  legal  considerations  were  simply  not  raised  in  policy 
decisions  concerning  the  FBI's  mail  opening  programs.^  Similarly, 
when  the  FBI  was  presented  with  the  opportunity  to  assume  responsi- 
bility for  the  CIA's  New  York  mail  opening  operation,  legal  factors 
played  no  role  in  the  Bureau's  refusal ;  rather,  the  opportunity  was 
declined  simply  because  of  the  attendant  expense,  manpower  require- 
ments, and  security  problems.^ 

One  of  the  most  abusive  of  all  FBI  programs  was  its  attempt  to 
discredit  Dr.  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr.  Yet  fonner  FBI  Assistant 
Director  William  C.  Sullivan  testified  that  he  "never  heard  anyone 
raise  the  question  of  legality  or  constitutionality,  never."  ^ 

Former  Director  of  Central  Intelligence  Richard  Helms  testified 
publicly  that  he  never  seriouslv  questioned  the  legal  status  of  the 
twenty-year  CIA  New  York  mail  opening  project  because  he  assumed 
his  predecessor,  Allen  Dulles,  had  "made  his  legal  peace  with  [it]."  '^ 

'  Georffe  C.  Moore  testimony.  11/3/75.  p.  83. 

*Bramgan  testimony,  10/9/75,  pp.  13,  139,  140;  Wannall  testimony,  10/24/75, 
Hearings.  Vol.  4,  p.  149. 

^  Branigan,  10/9/75,  p.  89. 

*  William  C.  Sullivan  testimony,  11/1/7,5,  pp.  49,  50. 

"^  Rioharcl  Helms,  10/22/75.  Hearings.  Vol.  4,  p.  94.  This  testimony  is  partially 
contradicted,  however,  hy  the  fact  that  in  1970  Helms  signed  the  HxLSton  Report, 
in  which  "covert  mail  coverage" — defined  as  mail  opening — was  specifically 
described  as  illegal.  (Special  Report,  .Tune  1970,  p.  30.) 


".  .  .  [F]rom  time  to  time,"  he  said,  "the  Agency  got  useful  informa- 
tion out  of  it,"  ^  so  he  permitted  it  to  continue  throughout  his  seven- 
year  tenure  as  Director. 

The  Huston  Plan  that  was  prepared  for  President  Richard  Nixon 
in  June  1970  constituted  a  virtual  charter  for  the  use  of  intrusive  and 
illegal  techniques  against  American  dissidents  as  well  as  foreign 
agents.  Its  principal  author  has  testified,  however,  that  during  the 
drafting  sessions  with  representatives  of  the  FBI,  CIA,  NSA,  and 
Defense  Intelligence  Agency,  no  one  ever  objected  to  any  of  the  rec- 
ommendations on  the  grounds  that  they  involved  illegal  acts,  nor  was 
the  legality  or  constitutionality  of  any  of  the  recommendations  ever 

William  C.  Sullivan,  who  participated  in  the  drafting  of  the  Huston 
Plan  and  sein^ed  on  the  United  States  Intelligence  Board  and  as  FBI 
Assistant  Director  for  Intelligence  for  10  years,  stated  that  in  his 
entire  experience  in  the  intelligence  community  he  never  heard  legal 
issues  raised  at  all : 

We  never  gave  any  thought  to  this  realm  of  reasoning,  be- 
cause we  were  just  naturally  pragmatists.  The  one  thing  we 
were  concerned  about  was  this:  Will  this  course  of  action 
work,  will  it  get  us  what  we  want,  will  we  reach  the  ob- 
jective that  we  desire  to  reach?  As  far  as  legality  is  con- 
cerned, morals,  or  ethics,  [it]  was  never  raised  by  myself  or 
anybody  else  ...  I  think  this  suggests  really  in  government 
that  we  are  amoral.  In  government — I  am  not  speaking  for 
everybody — the  general  atmosphere  is  one  of  amorality.^° 

Subfinding  [c) 

On  some  occasions  when  agency  officials  did  assume,  or  were  told, 
that  a  program  was  illegal,  they  still  permitted  it  to  continue.  They 
justified  their  conduct  in  some  cases  on  the  ground  that  the  failure  of 
"the  enemy"  to  play  by  the  rules  granted  them  the  right  to  do  likewise, 
and  in  other  cases  on  the  ground  that  the  "national  security"  permitted 
programs  that  would  otherwise  be  illegal. 

Even  when  agency  officials  recognized  certain  programs  or  tech- 
niques to  be  illegal,  they  sometimes  advocated  their  implementation 
or  permitted  them  to  continue  nonetheless. 

This  point  is  illustrated  by  a  passage  in  a  1954  memorandum  from 
an  FBI  Assistant  Director  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  which  recommended 
that  an  electronic  listening  device  be  planted  in  the  hotel  room  of  a 
suspected  Communist  sympathizer:  "Although  such  an  installation 
will  not  be  legal,  it  is  believed  that  the  intelligence  information  to  be 
obtained  will  make  such  an  installation  necessary  and  desirable."  ^^ 
Hoover  approved  the  installation.^^ 

More  than  a  decade  later,  a  memorandum  was  sent  to  Director 
Hoover  which  described  the  current  FBI  policy  and  procedures  for 
"black  bag  jobs"  (warrantless  break-ins  for  purposes  other  than  micro- 
phono  installation) .  This  memorandum  read  in  part : 

^  Helms,  10/22/7.5.  Hearings.  Vol.  4,  p.  103. 

'  Huston.  9/23/75.  Hearings.  Vol.  2,  p.  21. 

-"  Sullivan.  11/1/75,  pp.  92,  93. 

"  Alpmorandum  from  Mr.  Boardman  to  the  Director,  FBI,  4/30/54. 

"  Ibid. 


Such  a  technique  involves  trespass  and  is  clearly  illegal; 
therefore,  it  would  be  impossible  to  obtain  any  legal  sanction 
for  it.  Despite  this,  "black  bag"  jobs  have  been  used  because 
they  represent  an  invaluable  technique  in  combatting  sub- 
versive activities  .  .  .  aimed  directly  at  undermining  and  de- 
stroying our  nation.^^ 

In  other  words,  breaking  the  law,  was  seen  as  useful  in  combating 
those  who  threatened  the  legal  fabric  of  society.  Although  Hoover 
terminated  the  general  use  of  "black  bag  jobs"  in  July  1966,  they  were 
employed  on  a  large  scale  before  that  time  and  have  been  used  in 
isolated  instances  since  then. 

Another  example  of  disregard  for  the  law  is  found  in  a  1969  memo- 
randum from  William  C.  Sullivan  to  Director  Hoover.  In  June  of 
that  year,  Sullivan  was  requested  by  the  Director,  apparently  at  the 
urging  of  White  House  officials  to  travel  to  France  for  the  purpose  of 
electronically  monitoring  the  convei-sations  of  journalist  Joseph 
Kraft."  With  the  cooperation  of  local  authorities,  Sullivan  was  able 
to  have  a  microphone  installed  in  Kraft's  hotel  room,  and  informed 
Hoover  of  his  success.  "Parenthetically,"  he  wrote  in  his  letter  to  the 
Director,  "I  might  add  that  such  a  cover  is  regarded  as  illegal."  ^^ 

The  attitude  that  legal  standards  and  issues  of  privacy  can  be  over- 
ridden by  other  factors  is  further  reflected  in  a  memorandum  written 
by  Richard  Helms  in  connection  wnth  the  testing  of  dangerous  drugs 
on  unsuspecting  American  citizens  in  1963.  Mr.  Helms  wrote  the 
Deputy  Director  of  Central  Intelligence: 

While  I  share  your  uneasiness  and  distaste  for  any  program 
which  tends  to  intrude  on  an  individual's  private  and  legal 
prerogatives,  I  believe  it  is  necessary  that  the  Agency  main- 
tain a  central  role  in  this  activity,  keep  current  on  enemy 
capabilities  in  the  manipulation  of  hmiian  behavior,  and 
maintain  an  offensive  capability.  I,  therefore,  recommend 
your  approval  for  continuation  of  this  testimony  pro- 
gram . .  .^^^ 

The  history  of  the  CIA's  New  York  mail  opening  program  is  re- 
plete with  examples  of  conscious  contravention  of  the  law.  The  origi- 
nal proposal  for  large-scale  mail  opening  in  1955,  for  instance,  ex- 
plicitly recognized  that  "[tjhere  is  no  overt,  authorized  or  legal  cen- 
sorship or  monitoring  of  first  class  mails  which  enter,  depart  or 
transit  the  United  States  at  the  present  time."  "  A  1962  memorandum 
on  the  project  noted  that  its  exposure  could  "give  rise  to  grave  charges 
of  criminal  misuse  of  the  mails  by  Government  agencies"  and  that 
"existing  Federal  statutes  preclude  the  concoction  of  any  legal  excuse 
for  the  violation  .  .  ."  ^^  And  again  in  1963,  a  CIA  officer  wrote : 
"Tliere  is  no  legal  basis  for  monitoring  postal  communications  in  the 
ITnited  States  except  during  time  of  war  or  national  emergency  .  .  ."  ^* 

"  Memorandum  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  C.  D.  DeLoacli,  7/19/66. 

"  Report  of  the  House  Judiciary  Committee,  8/20/74,  p.  150. 

^"  Memorandum  from  William  C.  Sullivan  to  J.  Ed^^ar  Hoover,  6/30/69. 

^■"''  Memorandum  from  Richard  Helms  to  the  Deputy  Director  of  Central  Intelli- 
gence, 12/17/63. 

^^  Blind  memorandum,  11/7/55. 

^'  ^Memorandum  from  Deputy  Chief,  Counterintelligence  Staff,  to  Director,  Of- 
fice of  Security,  2/1/62. 

"'  Memorandum  from  Chief,  Cl/Project  to  Chief,  Division,  9/26/63. 


Both  the  former  Chief  of  the  Counterintelligence  Staff  and  the  former 
Director  of  Security — who  were  in  charge  of  the  New  York  project — ■ 
testified  that  they  believed  it  to  be  illegal.^''  One  Inspector  General  who 
reviewed  the  project  in  1969  also  flatly  stated:  "[0]f  course,  we 
knew  that  this  was  illegal.  .  .  .  [EJverybody  knew  that  it  was 
[illegal].  .  .  ."-° 

In  spite  of  the  general  recognition  of  its  illegality,  the  New  York 
mail  opening  project  continued  for  a  total  of  20  years  and  was  not 
terminated  until  1973,  when  the  Watergate-created  political  climate 
had  increased  the  risks  of  exposure.-^ 

With  the  full  knowledge  of  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  moreover,  the  FBI 
continued  to  receive  the  fruits  of  this  project  for  three  years  after  the 
FBI  Director  informed  the  President  of  the  United  States  that  "the 
FBI  is  opposed  to  implementing  any  covert  mail  coverage  because  it  is 
clearly  illegal  .  .  .'"  -  The  Bureau's  own  mail  opening  programs  had 
been  terminated  in  1966,  but  it  continued  intentionally  and  knowingly 
to  benefit  from  the  illegal  acts  of  the  CIA  until  1973. 

The  Huston  Plan  is  another  disturbing  reminder  of  the  fact  that 
intelligence  programs  and  techniques  may  be  advocated  and  author- 
ized with  the  kiiowledge  that  they  are  illegal.  At  least  two  of  the 
options  that  were  presented  to  President  Nixon  were  described  as 
unlawful  on  the  face  of  the  Report.  Of  "covert  mail  coverage"  (mail 
opening)  it  was  written  that  "[t]his  coverage,  not  having  the  sanction 
of  law,  runs  the  risk  of  any  illicit  act  magnified  by  the  involvement  of 
a  Government  agency."  ^^  The  Report  also  noted  that  surreptitious 
entry  "involves  illegal  entry  and  trespass."  ^*  Thus,  the  intelligence 
community  presented  the  nation's  highest  executive  official  with  the 
option  of  approving  courses  of  action  described  as  illegal.  The  fact 
that  President  Nixon  did  authorize  them,  even  if  only  for  five  days,  is 
more  disquieting  still. -^ 

When  President  Nixon  eventually  revoked  his  approval  of  the  Hus- 
ton Plan,  the  intelligence  community  nevertheless  proceded  to  initiate 
some  programs  suggested  in  the  Plan.  Intelligence  agencies  also  con- 
tinued to  employ  techniques  recommended  in  the  Plan,  such  as  mail 
opening  which  had  been  used  previously  without  pi-esidential  ap- 

^*  Angleton,  9/24/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  2,  p.  61 ;  Howard  Osborn,  deposition, 
8/28/75,  p.  90. 

'"  Gordon  Stewart,  9/30/75,  p.  28. 

^^  See  e.g.,  Howard  Osborn  deposition,  8/28/75.  p.  89. 

^^  Special  Report,  June  1970,  p.  31. 

"■^  Special  Report,  June  1970,  p.  30. 

"*  Special  Report,  June  1970,  p.  32. 

"  President  Nixon  stated  that  he  approved  these  activities  in  part  because  they 
"had  been  found  to  be  effective."  (Response  of  Richard  M.  Nixon  to  Senate  Select 
Committee  Interrogatory  19,  3/9/76,  p.  13.) 

^'  For  a  description  of  the  techniques  which  continued  or  were  subsequently 
instituted,  see  pp.  115-116. 

A  memorandum  from  John  Dean  to  John  Mitchell  suggests  that,  after  Presi- 
dent Nixon's  revocation  of  approval  for  the  Huston  Plan,  the  White  House  itself 
supported  the  continued  pursuit  of  some  of  the  objectives  of  the  Huston  Plan. 
Through  an  interagency  unit  known  as  the  Intelligence  Evaluation  Committee. 
(Memorandum  from  John  Dean  to  the  Attorney  General,  9/18/70.)  In  this 
memorandum.  Dean  suggested  the  creation  of  such  a  unit  for  "both  operational 
and  evaluation  purposes."  He  wrote  in  part : 

"[T]he  unit  can  serve  to  make  appropriate  recommendations  for  the  type  of 
intelligence  that  should  be  immediately  pursued  by  the  various  agencies.   In 



The  recent  history  of  Army  intelligence  provides  an  additional  ex- 
ample of  continuing  an  activity  described  as  illegal.  Beginning  in 
1967,  the  Army  Security  Agency  monitored  the  radio  communications 
of  amateur  radio  operators  in  this  country  to  determine  if  dissident 
elements  planned  disruptive  activity  at  particular  demonstrations  and 
events.  Because  Army  officials  questioned  whether  such  monitoring 
was  legal  under  Section  605  of  the  Federal  Communications  Act  of 
1934,  they  requested  a  legal  opinion  from  the  Federal  Communications 
Commission.  At  a  meeting  held  in  August  1968,  the  FCC  advised  the 
Army  that  such  monitoring  was  illegal  imder  the  Act.  FCC  repre- 
sentatives also  stated  that  the  matter  had  been  raised  with  Attorney 
General  Ramsey  Clark  and  that  he  had  disapproved  the  program.^^ 
The  FCC  agreed,  however,  to  submit  a  written  reply  to  the  Army, 
stating  onlv  that  it  could  not  "provide  a  positive  answer  to  the  Army's 
proposal."  ^^ 

Despite  havino-  been  toVl  that  their  monitoring  activity  was  illegal, 
and  that  the  Attorney  General  himself  disapproved  it,  the  Army 
Security  Agency  continued  to  monitor  the  radio  communications  of 
American  citizens  for  another  two  years.^^ 

Several  factors  may  explain  the  intelligence  community's  frequent 
disregard  of  le.Qfal  issues. 

Some  intelligence  officials  expressed  the  view  that  the  legal  and 
ethical  restraints  that  applied  to  the  rest  of  society  simplv  did  not 
apply  to  intelligence  activities.  This  concept  is  reflected  in  a  1959 
memorandum  on  the  Armv's  covert  drug  testing  ])rogram  :  "In  intelli- 
gence, the  stakes  involved  and  the  interest  of  national  security  may 
permit  a  more  tolernnt  interpretation  of  moral-ethical  values  .  .  ."  ^° 

As  William  C.  Sullivan  also  pointed  out.  many  intelligence  officers 
had  been  imbued  with  a  "war  psychologv."  "Legality  was  not  ques- 
tioned," he  said,  "it  was  not  an  issue."  "  In  war,  one  simply  did  what 


regard  to  this  .  .  .  point,  I  believe  we  agreed  that  it  would  be  inappropriate  to 
have  any  blanket  removal  of  restrictions :  rather,  the  most  appropriate  pro- 
cedure would  be  to  decide  on  the  type  of  intelMgence  we  need,  based  on  an 
assessment  of  the  recommendations  of  this  unit,  and  then  to  proceed  to  remove 
the  restraints  as  necessary  to  obtain  such  intelligence."  (Dean  memorandum, 

"  Memomndum  for  the  record  by  Army  Assistant  Chief  of  Staff  for  Intelli- 
gence, S/16/68;  Staff  summary  of  So]  T  indenbaum  (former  Executive  Assistant 
to  the  Attorney  General )  interview,  5/8/75. 

^Memorandum  for  the  record  by  Army  Assistant  Chief  of  Staff  for  Intelli- 
gence. 8/16/68. 

^The  Army's  general  domestic  surypjllau'^e  provides  an  example  of 
evasion  of  a  departmental  order  which  had  been  issued  out  of  concern  with 
legal  issues.  The  practice  of  collecting  vast  amovmts  of  information  on  American 
citizens  was  terminated  in  1971,  when  new  Department  of  Defense  restrictions 
came  into  effect  calling  for  the  destruction  of  all  files  on  "unaffiliated"  persons 
and  organizations.  Rather  than  destroying  the  files,  however,  several  Army 
intelligence  units  simply  turned  their  intelligence  files  on  dis^sident  indi-<'idual 
and  groups  over  to  local  police  authorities  :  and  one  Air  Forf'e  counterintelligence 
unit  in  San  Diego  hecan  to  create  new  files  the  next  year.  (Hearings  be^'ore  Sub- 
committee on  Constitutional  Rights,  rnmmittee  ou  tb<^  .Tudi^iary,  T^.S.  Senate. 
n2nd  Congress,  1st  session,  1971,  u.  1297:  "Ex-FBI  Aid  Accused  in  Police  Spy 
Heannrrs  "  Chimnn  Trihvvf.  6/21/75.  p.  3.) 

'°  TTSAINTC  Staff  Study  :  Material  Testing  Program  EA  1729.  10/1.5/59. 

^  Sullivan  attributes  much  of  this  attitude  to  the  molding  influence  of  World 
War  II  upon  young  intelligence  agents  who  later  rose  to  positions  of  influence  in 


one  was  "expected  to  do  as  a  soldier."  ^^  "It  was  my  assumption,"  said 
one  FBI  official  connected  with  the  Bureau's  mail  opening  programs, 
"that  what  we  were  doing  was  justified  by  what  we  had  to  do."  ^^ 
Since  the  "enemy"  did  not  play  by  the  rules,  moreover,  intelligence 
officials  often  believed  they  could  not  afford  to  do  so  either."* 

One  FBI  intelligence  officer  appeared  to  attribute  the  disregard  of 
the  law  in  the  Bureau's  COINTELPRO  operations  to  simple  restless- 
ness on  the  part  of  "action-oriented"  FBI  agents.  George  C.  Moore, 
the  Racial  Intelligence  Section  Chief,  testified  that : 

.  .  .  the  FBI's  counterintelligence  program  came  up  because 
if  you  have  anything  in  the  FBI,  you  have  an  action-oriented 
group  of  people  who  see  something  happening  and  want  to  do 
something  to  take  its  place.^^ 

Others  in  the  intelligence  community  have  contended  that  ques- 
tionable and  illegal  acts  were  justified  by  a  law  higher  than  the 
United  States  Code  or  the  Constitution.  An  FBI  Counterintelligence 
Section  Chief,  for  example,  stated  the  following  reason  for  believing 
in  the  necessity  of  techniques  such  as  mail  opening: 

The  greater  good,  the  national  security,  this  is  correct.  This 
is  what  I  believed  in.  Why  I  thought  these  programs  were 
good,  it  was  that  the  national  security  required  this,  this  is 

Similarly,  when  intelligence  officials  secured  the  cooperation  of  tele- 
graph company  executives  for  Project  SHAMROCK,  in  which  NSA 
received  millions  of  copies  of  international  telegraph  messages  with- 
out the  sender's  knowledge,  they  assured  the  executives  that  they  would 
not  be  subjected  to  criminal  liability  because  the  project  was  "in  the 
highest  interests  of  the  nation."  ^^ 

the  intelligence  community.  (Sullivan,  11/1/75,  pp.  M-95.)  Disregard  of  the 
"niceties  of  law,"  he  stated,  continued  after  the  war  had  ended  : 

"Along  came  the  Cold  War.  We  pursued  the  same  course  in  the  Korean  War, 
and  the  Cold  War  continued,  then  the  Vietnam  War.  We  never  freed  ourselves 
from  that  psychology  that  we  were  indoctrinated  with,  right  after  Pearl  Harbor, 
you  see.  I  think  this  accounts  for  the  fact  that  nobody  seemed  to  be  concerned 
about  raising  the  question  is  this  lawful,  is  this  legal,  is  this  ethical?  It  was  just 
like  a  soldier  in  the  battlefield.  When  he  shot  down  an  enemy  he  did  not  ask 
himself  is  this  legal  or  lawful,  is  it  ethical?  It  is  what  he  was  expected  to  do 
as  a  soldier." 

"We  did  what  we  were  expected  to  do.  It  became  part  of  our  thinking,  a  part 
of  our  personality."  ( Sullivan.  11/1  /75.  pp.  95,  96. ) 

Unfortunately,  it  made  too  little  difference  whether  the  "enemy"  was  a  foreign 
spy,  a  civil  rights  leader,  or  a  Vietnam  protester. 

^-  RulMvan,  11/1/75,  p.  96. 

='  Branigan,  10/9/75.  p.  41. 

^'  Staff  summary  of  William  C.  Sullivan  interview,  6/10/75. 

^  Moore  deposition,  11/3/75.  p.  79. 

®^  Branigan  deposition,  1/9/75,  p.  41.  Richard  Helms  referred  to  another  kind 
of  "greater  good"  when  asked  to  speculate  about  the  possible  motivation  of  a 
CIA  scientist  who  did  not  heed  President  Nixon's  directive  to  destroy  all  biologi- 
cal and  chemical  toxins.  Noting  that  the  scientist  might  have  "had  thoughts 
about  immunization  ...  or  treatment  of  disease  where  [the  toxin  he  had  devel- 
oped! might  be  useful,"  Helms  said  that  the  retention  of  (this  biological  agent 
could  be  explained  as  "yielding  to  that  human  impulse  of  the  greater  good." 
(Pich.ird  Helms  testimony.  9/15/7.5,  p.  96.) 

'^Robert  Andrews  testimony  9/23/75,  p.  34:  See  NSA  Report:  "SHAMROCK." 
By  cooperating  with  the  Government  in  SHAMROCK,  executives  of  three  com- 
panies chose  to  ignore  tiie  advice  of  their  respective  legal  counsels  who  had  recom- 

( Continued) 

68-786  O  -  76  -  11 


Perhaps  the  most  novel  reason  for  advocating  illegal  action  was 
proffered  by  Tom  Charles  Huston.  Huston  explained  that  he  believed 
the  real  threat  to  internal  security  was  potential  repression  by  right- 
wing  forces  within  the  United  States.  He  argued  that  the  "New  Left" 
was  capable  of  producing  a  climate  of  fear  that  would  bring  forth 
every  repressive  demagogue  in  the  country.  Huston  believed  that  the 
intelligence  professionals,  if  given  the  chance,  could  protect  the  people 
from  the  latent  forces  of  repression  by  monitoring  the  New  Left, 
including  by  illegal  means.^^  Illegal  action  directed  against  the  New 
Left,  in  other  words,  should  be  used  by  the  Government  to  forestall 
potential  repression  by  the  Right. 

In  attempting  to  explain  why  illegal  activities  were  advocated 
and  defended,  the  impact  of  the  attitudes  and  actions  of  government 
officials  in  supervisory  positions — Presidents,  Cabinet  officers,  and 
Congressmen — should  not  be  discounted.  Their  occasional  endorsement 
of  such  activities,  as  well  as  the  atmosphere  of  permissiveness  created 
by  their  emphasis  on  national  security  and  their  demands  for  results, 
clearly  contributed  to  the  notion  that  strict  adherence  to  the  law  was 
unimportant.  So,  too,  did  the  concept,  propounded  by  some  senior 
officials,  that  a  "sovereign"  president  may  authorize  violations  of  the 

A^^iatever  the  reasons,  however,  it  is  clear  that  a  number  of  intelli- 
gence officers  acted  in  knowing  contravention  of  the  law. 

Subfinding  (d) 

Internal  recognition  of  the  illegality  or  questionable  legality  of 
many  of  these  activities  frequently  led  to  a  tightening  of  security 
rather  than  to  their  termination.  Partly  to  avoid  exposure  and  a  public 
"flap,"  knowledge  of  these  programs  was  tightly  held  within  the  agen- 
cies, special  filing  procedures  were  used,  and  "cover  stories"  were 

"When  intelligence  agencies  realized  that  certain  programs  and  tech- 
niques were  of  questionable  legality,  they  frequently  took  special 
security  precautions  to  avoid  public  exposure,  criticism,  and  embarrass- 
ment. The  CIA's  study  of  student  unrest  throughout  the  world  in  the 
late  1960s,  for  example,  included  a  section  on  student  dissent  in  the 
United  States,  an  area  that  was  clearly  outside  the  Agency's  statutory 
charter.  DCI's  Hichard  Helms  urged  the  President's  national  secu- 
ritv  advisor,  Henry  Kissinger,  to  treat  it  with  extreme  sensivity  in 
light  of  the  acknowledged  jurisdictional  violation : 

"Herewith  is  a  sun^'ev  of  student  dissidence  world-wide  as  re- 
quested by  the  President.  In  an  effort  to  round  out  our  discus- 
sion of  this  subject,  we  have  included  a  section  on  American 
students.  This  is  an  area  not  within  the  charter  of  this  Agency, 
so  I  need  not  emphasize  how  extremely  sensitive  this  makes 
the  paper.  Should  anyone  learn  of  its  existence,  it  would  prove 
most  embarrassing  for  all  concerned."  *° 

Concern  for  the  FBI's  public  imasfe  prompted  security  measures 
which  protected  numerous  questionable  activities.  For  example,  in 


mended  ag'ainst  participation  because  they  considered  the  program  to  be  in 
violation  of  the  law  and  FCC  regulations.  Olemorandnm  for  the  record,  Armed 
Forces  Security  Agency.  Subject:  SHAMROCK  Operation.  ,S/25/50.) 

^Tom  Charles  Huston  deposition,  5/22/75,  p.  43;  Staff  Summary  of  Tom 
Charles  Huston  interview,  5/22/75. 

*"  Letter  from  Richard  Helms  to  Henry  Kissinger,  2/18/69. 


approving  or  denying  COINTELPRO  proposals,  many  of  which  were 
clearly  illegal,  a  main  consideration  was  preventing  "eanbarrassment 
to  the  Bureau."*^  A  characteristic  caution  to  FBI  agents  appears  in 
the  letter  which  initiated  the  COINTELPEO  against  "Black 
Nationalists" : 

You  are  also  cautioned  that  the  nature  of  this  new  endeavor 
is  such  that  under  no  circumstances  should  the  existence  of 
the  program  be  made  known  outside  the  Bureau  and  appro- 
priate w^thin-ofRce  security  should  be  afforded  to  sensitive 
operations  and  techniques  considered  under  the  program. 

Examples  of  attention  to  such  security  are  that  anonymous  letters  had 
to  be  written  on  commercially  purchased  stationery ;  newsmen  had  to 
be  so  completely  trustworthy  that  they  were  guaranteed  not  to  reveal 
the  Bureau's  interest;  and  inquiries  of  law  enforcement  officials  had  to 
be  made  under  the  pretext  of  a  criminal  investigation. 

A  similar  preoccupation  with  security  measures  for  improper  activ- 
ities affected  both  the  NSA  and  the  Army  Security  Agency. 

XSA's  guidelines  for  its  watch  list  activity  provided  that  NSA's 
name  should  not  be  on  any  of  the  disseminated  watch  list  material 
involving  Americans.  The  aim  was  to  "restrict  the  knowledge  that 
such  information  is  being  collected  and  processed"  by  NSA.*^ 

The  Army  Security  Agency's  radio  monitoring  acti\"ity,  which  con- 
tinued even  after  the  Anny  was  told  that  the  FCC  and  the  Attorney 
General  regarded  it  as  illegal,  also  had  to  be  conducted  in  secrecy  if  a 
public  outcry  was  to  be  avoided.  When  Army  officials  decided  to  per- 
mit radio  monitoiing  in  connection  with  the  military's  Civil  Dis- 
turbance Collection  Plan,  their  instruction  provided  that  all  ASA 
personnel  had  to  be  "disguised"  either  in  civilian  clothes  or  as  members 
of  regular  military  units."** 

The  perceived  illegality- — and  consequent  "flap  potential" — of  the 
CIA's  New  York  mail  opening  project  led  Agency  officials  to  for- 
mulate a  drastic  strategy  to  follow  in  the  event  of  public  exposure. 
A  review  of  the  project  by  the  Inspector  General's  Office  in  the  early 
1960s  concluded  that  it  would  be  desirable  to  fabricate  a  "cover  story." 
A  formal  recommendation  was  therefore  made  that  "[a]n  emergency 
plan  and  cover  story  be  prepared  for  the  possibility  that  the  operation 
might  be  blown."  *^  In  response  to  this  recommendation,  the  Deputy 
Chief  of  the  Counterintelligence  Staff  agreed  that  "a  'flap'  Avill  put 
us  'out  of  business'  immediately  and  may  give  rise  to  grave  charges 
of  criminal  misuse  of  the  mails  by  government  agencies,"  but  he 
argued : 

^^  See  COINTELPRO  Report :  Sec.  V,  "Outside  the  Bureau"  memorandum  ;  from 
FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SAC's,  8/25/67. 

^  Buffliam,  9/12/75,  p.  20 ;  MINARET  Charter,  7/1/69. 

At  other  times,  however,  NSA's  special  security  measures  were  applied  to 
protect  documents  which  concerned  far  more  than  NSA.  Thus,  at  Richard  Helms 
suggestion,  Huston  Plan  working  papers  and  documents  were  all  stamped  with 
legends  designed  to  protect  NSA's  lawful  communications  activity,  although  only 
a  small  iwrtion  of  the  documents  actually  concerned  NSA.  (Unaddressed  memo- 
randum, Subject :  "Interagency  Committee  on  Intelligence,  Working  Subcom- 
mittee, Minutes  of  the  First  Meeting,"  6/10/70. ) 

**  Department  of  Army  Message  to  Subordinate  Commands,  3/31/68. 

*^  CIA  memorandum.  Subject :  In.spector  General's  Survey  of  the  Office  of 
Security,  Annex  II,  undated. 


Since  no  good  purpose  can  be  served  by  an  official  admission 
of  the  violation,  and  existing  Federal  statutes  preclude  the 
concoction  of  any  legal  excuse  for  the  violation,  it  must  be 
recognized  that  no  cover  story  is  available  to  any  Govern- 
ment Agency.  Therefore,  it  is  important  that  all  Federal  law 
enforcement  and  US  Intelligence  Agencies  vigorously  deny 
any  association,  direct  or  indirect,  with  any  such  activity  as 
charged,  .  .  .  Unless  the  charge  is  supported  by  the  presenta- 
tion of  interior  items  from  the  Project,  it  should  be  I'elatively 
easy  to  "hush  up"  the  entire  affair,  or  to  explain  that  it  consists 
of  legal  mail  cover  activities  conducted  by  the  Post  Office  at 
the  request  of  authorized  Federal  agencies.  Under  the  most 
unfavorable  circumstances  ...  it  might  be  necessary  after  the 
matter  has  cooled  off  during  an  extended  period  of  investi- 
gation, to  find  a  scapegoat  to  blame  for  unauthorized  tamper- 
ing with  the  mails.  Such  cases  by  their  veiy  nature  do  not 
have  much  appeal  to  the  imagination  of  the  public,  and  this 
would  be  an  effective  way  to  resolve  the  initial  charge  of 
censorship  of  the  mails.**' 

This  strategy  of  complete  denial  and  transferring  blame  to  a  scape- 
goat was  approved  by  the  Director  of  Security  in  February  1962.*^ 

Another  extreme  example  of  a  security  measure  that  was  adopted  be- 
cause of  the  threat  that  illegal  activity  might  be  exposed  was  the  out- 
right destruction  of  files. 

The  FBI  developed  a  special  filing  system — or,  more  accurately,  a 
destruction  system — for  memoranda  written  about  illegal  techniques, 
such  as  break-ins,*'  and  highly  questionable  operations,  such  as  the  mi- 
crophone surveillance  of  Joseph  Kraft.^''  Under  this  system — which 
was  referred  to  as  the  "DO  XOT  FILE"  procedure — authorizing  doc- 
uments and  other  memoranda  were  filed  in  special  safes  at  headquarters 
and  field  offices  until  the  next  annual  inspection  by  the  Inspection  Di- 
vision, at  which  time  they  were  to  be  systematically  destroyed.^" 

*^  Memorandum  from  Deputy  Chief,  CI  Staff,  to  Director  Office  of  Security, 

"  Memorandum  from  Sheffield  Edwards,  Director  of  Security,  to  Deputy  Di- 
rector for  Support.  2/21/62. 

*'  Memorandum  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  C.  D.  DeLoach.  7/19/66.  The  same  docu- 
ment that  describes  the  application  of  the  "DO  NOT  FILE''  procedure  to  "black 
bag  jobs"  also  notes  that  before  a  break-in  could  be  approved  within  the  FBI,  the 
Special  Agent  in  Charge  of  the  field  office  had  to  assure  headquarters  that  it 
could  be  accomplished  without  "embarrassment  to  the  Bureau."  (Sullivan  memo- 
randum, 7/19/66.) 

An  isolated  instance  of  file  destruction  apparently  occurred  in  the  Los  Angeles 
office  of  the  Internal  Revenue  Ser\-ice  in  December  1974.  at  a  time  when  Con- 
gressional investigation  of  the  intelligence  agencies  was  imminent.  TWs  office  had 
collected  large  amounts  of  essentially  political  information  regarding  black  mil- 
itants and  political  activists.  In  violation  of  internal  document  destruction  pro- 
cedures the  files  were  destroyed  prior  to  their  proposed  review  by  IRS  author- 
ities. See  IRS  Report ;  Sec.  IV.  "The  Information  Gathering  and  Retrieval  Sy.s- 
tem"  ;  Staff  Summary  of  interview  with  Chief,  IRS  Division,  Los  Angeles,  8/1/75. 

*^  For  example,  letters  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  6/30/69.  7/2/69, 
7/3/69,  7/7/69.  These  letters  were  sent  to  Hoover  from  Paris,  where  Sullivan 
coordinated  the  Kraft  surveillance.  All  of  them  bear  the  notation  "DO  NOT 

^  Memorandum  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  C.  D.  DeLoach,  7/19/66. 


Sub-finding  {e) 

On  occasion,  intelligence  agencies  failed  to  disclose  candidly  pro- 
grams and  practices  to  their  own  General  Counsels,  and  to  Attorney 
Generals,  Presidents,  and  Congress. 

[1)  Concealment  from  Executive  Branch  Officials 

Intelligence  officers  frequently  concealed  or  misrepresented  illegal 
activities  to  their  own  General  Counsel  and  superiors  within  and  out- 
side the  agencies  in  order  to  protect  these  activities  from  exposure. 

For  example,  during  the  entire  20-year  history  of  the  CIA's  mail 
opening  project,  the  Agency's  General  Counsel  was  never  informed  of 
its  existence.  According  to  one  Agency  official,  this  knoAvledge  was 
purposefully  kept  from  him.  Former  Inspector  General  Gordon  SteAv- 
art  testified : 

Well,  I  am  sure  that  it  was  held  back  from  [the  General 
Counsel]  on  purpose.  An  operation  of  this  sort  in  the  CIA  is 
rmi — if  it  is  closely  held,  it  is  run  by  those  people  immediately 
concerned,  and  to  the  extent  that  it  is  really  possible,  accord- 
ing to  the  practices  that  we  had  in  the  fifties  and  sixties,  those 
persons  not  immediately  concerned  were  supposed  to  be 
ignorant  of  it.^^ 

The  evidence  also  indicates  that  two  Directors  of  Central  Intelli- 
gence under  whom  the  New  York  mail  operations  continued — John 
McCone  and  Admiral  Raborn — were  never  informed  of  its  existence.^'' 
In  1954,  Postmaster  General  Arthur  Summerfield  was  informed  that 
the  CIA  operated  a  mail  cover  project  in  New  York,  but  he  was  not 
told  that  the  Agency  opened  or  intended  to  open  any  mail.^"*  In  1965,  the 
CIA  briefly  considered  informing  Postmaster  General  John  A.  Gro- 
nouski  about  the  project  when  its  existence  was  felt  to  be  jeopardized 
by  a  congressional  subcommittee  that  was  investigating  the  use  of  mail 
covers  and  other  investigative  techniques  by  federal  agencies.  Accord- 
ing to  an  internal  memorandum,  however,  the  idea  was  quickly  re- 
jected "in  view  of  various  statements  by  Gronouski  before  this  sub- 
committee." ^*  Since  Gronouski  had  agreed  with  the  subcommittee  that 
tighter  administrative  controls  on  mail  covers  were  necessary  and  gen- 
erally supported  the  principle  of  the  sanctity  of  the  mail,  it  is  reason- 
able to  infer  that  CIA  officials  assumed  he  would  not  be  sympathetic 
to  the  technique  of  mail  opening.'" 

"^  Gordon  Stewart,  9/30/75,  p.  29. 

^  McCone,  10/9/75,  pp.  3-4 ;  Angleton,  9/17/75,  p.  20 ;  Osbom,  10/21/75 ;  Hear- 
ing:s,  Vol.  4,  p.  38. 

^^  Memorandum  from  Richard  Helms  to  Director  of  Security,  5/17/74 ;  Helms, 
10/22/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  4,  p.  84.  By  the  CIA's  own  account,  moreover,  at  most 
only  three  Cabinet-level  officials  may  have  been  told  about  the  mail  opening  as- 
pects of  this  project.  Each  of  these  three — Postmasters  General  J.  Edward  Day 
and  Winton  M.  Blount,  and  Attorney  General  John  Mitchell — dispute  the  Agen- 
cy's claim.  (Dav,  10/22/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  4,  p.  45;  Blount,  10/22/75,  Hearings, 
Vol.  4,  p.  47 ;  Mitchell,  10/2/75,  pp.  13-14.) 

"  Blind  memorandum  from  "CIA  Officer,"  4/23/65. 

^Ibid.  Mr.  Gronouski  testified  as  follows  about  the  CIA's  successful  attempt 
to  keep  knowledge  of  the  New  York  project  from  him  : 

"When  this  news  [about  CIA  mail  opening]  broke  [in  1975),  I  thought  it  was 
incredible  that  a  person  in  a  top  position  of  responsibility  in  Government  in  an 
agency  should  have  something  of  this  sort  that  is  very  illegal  going  on  wathin 
his  own  agency  and  did  not  know  about  it.  It  is  not  that  I  did  not  try  to  know 
about  these  things.  I  think  it  is  incumbent  upon  anybody  at  the  top  office  to  try 
to  know  everything  that  goes  on  in  his  organization."  (Gronouski,  10/22/75, 
Hearings,  Vol.  4  p.  44. ) 


The  only  claim  that  any  President  may  have  known  about  the  proj- 
ect was  made  by  Richard  Helms,  who  testified  that  "there  was  a  pos- 
sibility" that  he  "mentioned"  it  to  President  Lyndon  Johnson  in  1967 
or  1968.^*^  No  documentary  evidence  is  available  that  either  supports  or 
refutes  this  statement.  During  the  preparation  of  the  Huston  Plan, 
neither  CIA  nor  FBI  representatives  informed  Tom  Charles  Huston, 
President  Nixon's  representative,  that  the  mail  opening  project 
existed.  The  final  interagency  report  on  the  Pluston  Plan  signed  by 
Richard  Helms  and  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  was  sent  to  the  President  with 
the  statement,  contrary  to  fact,  that  all  mail  opening  programs  by 
federal  agencies  had  been  discontinued.^^ 

In  connection  with  another  CIA  mail  opening  project,  middle- level 
Agency  officials  apparently  did  not  even  tell  their  own  superiors  with- 
in the  CIA  that  they  intended  to  open  mail,  as  opposed  to  merely  in- 
specting envelope  exteriors.  The  ranking  officials  testified  that  they 
approved  the  project  believing  it  to  be  a  mail  cover  progi'am  only.-^^ 
No  Cabinet  officials  or  President  knew  of  this  project  and  the  approval 
of  the  Deputy  Chief  Postal  Inspector  (for  what  he  also  believed  to 
be  a  mail  cover  operation)  was  secured  through  conscious  deception.^^ 
,  A  pattern  of  concealment  was  repeated  by  the  FBI  in  their  mail 
opening  programs.  There  is  no  claim  by  the  Bureau  that  any  Post- 
master General,  Attorney  General,  or  President  was  ever  advised  of 
the  true  nature  and  scope  of  its  mail  projects.  One  FBI  official  testified 
that  it  was  an  unofficial  Bureau  policy  not  to  inform  postal  officials 
with  whom  they  dealt  of  the  actual  intention  of  FBI  agents  in  receiv- 
ing the  mail,  and  there  is  no  indication  that  this  policy  was  ever 
violated.*^"  At  one  point  in  1965,  Assistant  Director  Alan  Belmont  and 
Inspector  Donald  Moore  apparently  infonned  Attorney  General 
Nicholas  deB.  Katzenbach  that  FBI  agents  received  custody  of  the 
mail  in  connection  with  espionage  cases  on  some  occasions."^  But 
Moore  testified  that  the  Attorney  General  was  not  told  that  mail  was 
actually  opened,  "\^^len  asked  if  he  felt  any  need  to  hold  back  from 
Katzenbach  the  fact  of  mail  openings  as  opposed  to  the  fact  that  Bu- 
reau agents  received  direct  access  to  the  mail,  Moore  replied : 

It  is  perhaps  difficult  to  answer.  Perhaps  I  could  liken  it 
to  ...  a  defector  in  place  in  the  KGB.  You  don't  want  to  tell 
anybody  his  name,  the  location,  the  title,  or  anything  like 
that.  Not  that  you  don't  trust  them  completely,  but  the  fact 

^  Helms,  10/23/75,  pp.  28,  30-31. 

"^  Special  Report,  p.  29.  Richard  Helms  testified  as  follows  about  this  inaccu- 
rate statement : 

".  .  .  the  only  explanation  I  have  for  it  was  that  this  applied  entirely  to  the 
FBI  and  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  CIA,  that  we  never  advertised  to  this  Com- 
mittee or  told  this  Committee  that  this  mail  operation  was  going  on,  and  there 
was  no  intention  of  attesting  to  a  lie.  ..." 

"And  if  I  signed  this  thing,  then  maybe  I  didn't  read  it  carefully  enough." 

"There  was  no  intention  to  mislead  or  lie  to  the  President."  (Helms,  10/22/75, 
Hearings  Vol.  4,  p.  95). 

^  Howard  Osborn.  8/28/75,  pp.  58,  59 ;  Thomas  Karamessines.  10/8/75,  p.  12 ; 
Richard  Helms,  9/10/75,  p.  127. 

"^^  For  example,  Chief,  Security  Support  Division  memorandum,  12/24/74; 
Memorandum  from  C/TSD/CCG/CRB  to  the  file,  3/26/69 ;  memorandum  from 
C/TSD/CCG/CRB  to  the  file,  9/15/69. 

*  Donald  E.  Moore,  10/1/75,  p.  79. 

"  Moore,  10/1/75,   p.  31 ;  Katzenbach,  12/3/75,  Hearings,  vol.  6,  pp.  204,  205. 


is  that  any  time  one  additional  person  becomes  aware  of  it, 
there  is  a  potential  for  the  information  to  ...  go  further.*'- 

Another  Bureau  agent  speculated  that  the  Attorney  General  was 
not  told  because  mail  opening  "was  not  legal,  as  far  as  I  knew."  "^^ 

Similarly,  there  is  no  indication  that  the  FBI  ever  informed  any 
Attorney  General  about  its  use  of  "black  bag  jobs"  (illegal  break-ins 
for  purposes  other  than  microphone  installations)  ;  the  full  scope  of 
its  activities  in  COINTELPRO ;  or  its  submission  of  names  for  inclu- 
sion on  either  the  CIA's  "Watch  List"  for  mail  opening  or,  before  1973, 
on  the  NSA's  "Watch  List"  for  electronic  monitoring  of  international 

After  J.  Edgar  Hoover  disregarded  Attorney  General  Biddle's 
19-13  order  to  terminate  the  Custodial  Detention  List  by  merely  chang- 
ing its  name  to  the  Security  Index  moreover,  Bureau  headquarters 
instructed  the  field  officers  that  the  new  list  should  be  kept  "strictly 
confidential"  and  that  it  should  never  be  mentioned  in  FBI  reports  or 
"discussed  with  agencies  or  individuals  outside  the  Bureau"  except  for 
military  intelligence  agencies.  For  several  years  thereafter,  the  Attor- 
ney General  and  the  Justice  Department  were  not  informed  of  the 
FBI's  decision. ^^ 

An  incident  which  occurred  in  1967  in  connection  with  the  Bureau's 
COINTELPRO  operations  is  particularly  illustrative  of  the  lengths  to 
which  intelligence  agencies  would  go  to  protect  illegal  programs  from 
scrutiny  by  executive  branch  officers  outside  the  intelligence  com- 
munity. As  one  phase  of  its  disruption  of  the  United  Klaus  of  America, 
the  Bureau  sent  a  letter  to  Klan  officers  purportedly  prepared  by  the 
highly  secret  "National  Intelligence  Committee"  (NIC)  of  the  Klan.^'' 
The  fake  letter  purported  to  fire  the  North  Carolina  Grand  Dragon 
for  personal  misconduct  and  misfeasance  in  office,  and  to  suspend 
Imperial  Wizard  Robert  Shelton  for  his  failure  to  remove  the  Grand 
Dragon.  Shelton  complained  to  the  FBI  and  the  Post  Office  about 
this  apparent  violation  of  the  mail  fraud  statutes — without  realizing 
that  the  Bureau  had  in  fact  sent  the  letter. '''  The  Bureau,  after 
solemnly  assuring  Shelton  that  his  complaint  was  not  within  the 
FBI's  jurisdiction,  approached  the  Chief  Postal  Inspector's  office  in 
Washington  to  determine  what  action  the  Post  Office  planned  to  take 
regarding  Shelton's  allegation.  The  FBI  was  advised  that  the  matter 
had  been  referred  to  the  Justice  Department's  Criminal  Division.*'^ 
At  no  time  did  the  Bureau  inform  either  the  Post  Office  or  the  Justice 
Department  that  FBI  agents  had  authored  the  letter.  When  no  investi- 
gation was  deemed  to  be  warranted  by  the  Criminal  Division,  FBI 
Headquarters  directed  the  Bureau's  Charlotte,  North  Carolina  office 
to  prepare  a  second  phony  NIC  letter  to  send  to  Klan  officials.*^^  This 

''  Moore  10/1/75,  p.  48.  See  Mail  Report :  See.  IV,  "Nature  and  Value  of  the 
Product  Received." 

"^  FBI  agent  testimony,  10/10/75,  p.  30. 

"  See  NSA  Report :  Sec.  II,  "Summary  of  NSA  Watch  List  Activity." 

*■'"  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  FBI  Field  Offices,  8/14/43. 

""Memorandum  from  Atlanta  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  6/7/67. 

"■  Memorandum  from  Birmingham  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  6/14/67. 

**  Postal  officials  told  Bureau  liaison  that  since  Shelton's  allegations  "api>ear 
to  involve  an  internal  struggle  for  control  of  Ku  Klux  Klan  activities  in  North 
(^arolina  and  since  the  evidence  of  mail  fraud  was  somewhat  tenuous  in  nature, 
the  Post  Office  did  not  contemplate  any  investigation."  ( Memorandum  from  Spe- 
cial Agent  to  D.  J.  Brennan.  7/11/67.)  Had  the  FBI  informed  the  Post  Office 
that  Bureau  agents  had  written  the  letter,  it  would  have  been  apparent  that 
Shelton's  allegations  were  not  based  on  an  "internal  struggle"  within  the  KKK. 

"^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Charlotte  Field  Office,  8/21/67. 


letter  was  not  mailed,  however,  because  the  Charlotte  office  proposed 
and  implemented  a  different  idea — the  formation  of  an  FBI-controlled 
alternative  Klan  organization,  which  eventually  attracted  250 

The  Huston  Plan  itself  was  prepared  without  the  knowledge  of  the 
Attorney  General.  Neither  the  Attorney  General  nor  anyone  in  his 
office  was  invited  to  the  drafting  sessions  at  Langley  or  consulted  dur- 
ing the  proceedings.  Huston  testified  that  it  never  occurred  to  him 
to  confer  with  the  Attorney  General  before  making  the  recommen- 
dations in  the  Report,  in  part  because  the  plan  was  seen  as  an  in- 
telligence matter  to  be  handled  by  the  intelligence  agency  directors.^^ 

Similarly,  the  CIA's  General  Counsel  was  not  included  or  consulted 
in  the  formulation  of  the  Huston  Plan.  As  James  Angleton  testified, 
"the  custom  and  usage  was  not  to  deal  with  the  General  Counsel,  as  a 
rule,  until  there  were  some  troubles.  He  was  not  a  part  of  the  process 
of  project  approval."  ''^ 

(ii)   Concealinent  from  Congress 

At  times,  knowledge  of  illegal  programs  and  techniques  has  been 
concealed  from  Congress  as  well  as  executive  branch  officials.  On  two 
occasions,  for  example,  officials  of  the  Anny  Security  Agency  ordered 
its  units — in  apparent  violation  of  that  Agency's  jurisdiction — to  con- 
duct general  searches  of  the  radio  spectrum  without  regard  to  the 
source  or  subject  matter  of  the  transmissions.  ASA  did  not  report  these 
incidents  to  ranking  Army  officials,  even  when  specifically  asked  to  do 
so  as  part  of  the  Army's  preparation  for  the  hearings  of  the  Senate 
Subcommittee  on  Constitutional  Rights  in  1971.'* 

Events  surrounding  the  1965  and  1966  investigation  by  Senator  Ed- 
ward Long  of  JNIissouri  into  federal  agencies'  use  of  mail  covers  and 
other  investigative  techniques  clearly  showed  the  desire  on  the  part  of 
CIA  and  FBI  officials  to  protect  their  programs  from  congressional 
review.^5  Fearing  that  the  New  York  mail  opening  i^rogram  might  be 
discoA^ered  by  this  subcommittee,  the  CIA  considered  suspending  the 
operation  until  the  investigation  had  been  completed.  An  internal 
CIA  memorandum  dated  April  23, 1965,  reads  in  part : 

Mr.  Karamessines   [Assistant  Deputy  Director  for  Plans] 
felt  that  the  dangers  inherent  in  Long's  subcommittee  activi- 

•"  Memorandum  from  Charlotte  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters  8/22/67. 

'"■  Huston,  9/23/75.  Hearings,  Vol.  2,  p.  24. 

When  J.  Edgar  Hoover  informed  Attorney  General  John  Mitchell  about  the 
Report  on  July  27,  1970,  Mitchell  objected  to  its  proposals  and  influenced  the 
President  to  withdraw  his  original  approval. 

According  to  John  Mitchell,  he  believed  that  the  proposals  "were  inimical  to 
the  best  interests  of  the  country  and  certainly  should  not  be  something  that  the 
President  of  the  United  States  should  be  approving."  (John  Mitchell  testimony, 
10/24/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  4,  p.  23.) 

■'^  James  Angleton,  9/24/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  2,  p.  77. 

''^  See  Military  Surveillance  Report :  Sec.  I,  "Improper  Surveillance  of  Private 
Citizens  by  the  Military" ;  Inspector  General  Report,  Department  of  the  Army, 

"  The  Johnson  Administration  itself  attempted  to  restrict  the  Long  Subcom- 
mittee's investigation  into  national  security  matters,  although  there  is  no  indica- 
tion that  this  attempt  was  motivated  by  a  desire  to  protect  illegal  activities. 
(E.g.,  Memorandum  from  A.  H.  Belmont  to  Mr.  Tolson.  2/27/65;  memorandum 
from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Messrs.  Tolson,  Belmont,  Gale,  Rosen,  Sullivan,  and 
DeLoach,  3/2/65.) 


ties  to  the  security  of  the  Project's  operations  in  New  York 
should  be  thoroughly  studied  in  order  that  a  determination 
can  be  made  as  to  whether  these  operations  should  be  partially 
or  fully  suspended  until  the  subcommittee's  investigations  are 

When  it  was  learned  that  Chief  Postal  Ins])ector  Henry  Montague 
had  been  contacted  about  the  Long  investigation  and  believed  that  it 
would  "soon  cool  off",  however,  it  was  decided  to  continue  the  opera- 
tion without  suspension.^^ 

The  FBI  was  also  concerned  that  the  subcommittee  might  expose  its 
mail  opening  programs.  Bureau  memoranda  indicate  that  the  FBI  in- 
tended to  ''warn  the  Long  Committee  away  from  those  areas  which 
would  be  injurious  to  the  national  defense."  "^  J.  Edgar  Hoover  per- 
sonally contacted  the  Chairman  of  the  Senate  Judiciary  Committee,'" 
and  urged  him  "to  see  Long  not  later  than  Wednesday  morning  to  cau- 
tion him  that  [the  Chief  Counsel]  must  not  go  into  the  kind  of  ques- 
tion he  made  of  Chief  Inspector  Montague  of  the  Post  Office  Depart- 
ment" ®° — questioning  that  had  threatened  to  reveal  the  FBI's  mail 
project  the  previous  week.®^ 

AtHien  the  Long  subcommittee  began  to  investigate  electronic  sur- 
veillance practices  several  months  later,  Bureau  officials  convinced 
Senator  Edward  Long  that  there  was  no  need  to  pursue  such  an  in- 
vestigation since,  they  said,  the  FBI's  operations  were  tightly  con- 
trolled and  properly  implemented.^^  According  to  Bureau  documents, 
FBI  agents  wrote  a  press  release  for  the  Senator  from  Missouri,  with 
his  approval,  that  stated  his  subcommittee  had 

conducted  exhaustive  research  into  the  activities,  procedures, 
and  techniques  of  this  agency  [and]  based  upon  careful  study 
. .  .  we  are  fully  satisfied  that  the  FBI  has  not  participated  in 
highhanded  or  uncontrolled  usage  of  wiretaps,  microphones, 
or  other  electronic  equipment.®^ 

Not  only  was  this  release  written  by  the  FBI  itself,  it  was  misleading. 
The  "exhaustive  research"  apparently  consisted  of  a  ninety-minute 
briefing  by  FBI  officials  describing  their  electronic  surveillance  prac- 
tices; neither  the  Senator  nor  the  public  learned  of  the  instances  of 
improper  electronic  surveillances  that  had  been  conducted  by  the 
FBL^*  ^Alien  Senator  Edward  Long  later  asked  certain  FBI  officials 
to  testify  about  the  Bureau's  electronic  surveillance  policy  before  the 
Subcommittee,  they  refused,  arguing : ". . .  to  put  an  FBI  witness  on  the 

'"  Blind  memorandum  from  "CIA  Officer,"  4/23/65. 

"  Ibid. 

^*  Memorandum  from  A.  H.  Belmont  to  Mr.  Tolson,  2/27/65. 

■^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Messrs.  Tolson,  Belmont,  Gale,  Rosen, 
Sullivan,  and  DeLoach,  3/1/65. 

*°  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Messrs.  Tolson,  Belmont,  Gale,  Rosen, 
Sullivan,  and  DeLoach  3/1/65. 

^^  Mail  Report  Part  lY,  Sec.  VII,  "Concern  with  Exposure."  At  the  time  of  his 
testimony  before  the  Long  Subcommittee.  Chief  Postal  Inspector  Montague  knew 
of  ongoing  FBI  projects  in  which  Bureau  agents  received  custody  of  the  mail, 
but  he  was  apparently  unaware  that  these  projects  involved  mail  openings. 

^-  For  example.  Memorandum  from  C.  D.  DeLoach  to  Mr.  Tolson,  1/10/66. 

^  Memorandum  from  M.  A.  Jones  to  Mr.  Wick,  Attachmen't,  1/11/66. 
^  See  pp.  62-65,  105,  205-206  for  a  description  of  some  of  these  improper 


stand  would  be  an  attempt  to  open  a  Pandora's  box,  insofar  as  our 

enemies  in  the  press  were  concerned "  ®^ 

After  the  press  release  had  been  delivered  to  Senator  Long  and 
the  refusal  to  testify  had  been  accepted,  one  FBI  official  wrote  to  the 
Associate  Director  that  while  some  problems  still  existed,  "we  have 
neutralized  the  threat  of  being  embarrassed  by  the  Long  Subcom- 
mittee . . ."  ^® 

Suh-finding  (/) 

The  internal  inspection  mechanisms  of  the  CIA  and  the  FBI  did 
not  keep — and,  in  the  case  of  the  FBI,  were  not  designed  to  keep — the 
activities  of  those  agencies  within  legal  bounds.  Their  primary  concern 
was  efficiency,  not  legality  or  propriety. 

The  internal  inspection  mechanisms  of  the  CIA  and  the  FBI  were 
ineffective  in  ensuring  that  the  activities  of  these  agencies  were  kept 
within  legal  bounds.  This  failure  was  sometimes  due  to  structural 
deficiencies  which  kept  knowledge  of  questionable  programs  tightly 
compai-tmented  and  shielded  from  those  who  could  evaluate  their 

As  noted  above,  for  example,  the  CIA's  General  Counsel  was  not 
informed  about  either  the  New  York  mail  opening  project  or  CIA's 
participation  in  the  Huston  Plan  deliberations.  The  role  of  the  CIA's 
General  Counsel  was  essentially  a  passive  one;  he  did  not  initiate 
inquiries  but  responded  to  requests  from  other  Agency  components. 
As  James  Angleton  stated,  the  General  Counsel  was  not  a  part  of 
the  normal  project  approval  process  and  generally  was  not  consulted 
until  "something  was  going  wrong."  ^^ 

AVlien  the  General  Counsel  was  consulted,  he  often  exerted  a  posi- 
tive influence  on  the  conduct  of  CIA  activities.  For  example,  the  CIA 
stopped  monitoring  telephone  calls  to  and  from  Latin  America  after 
the  General  Counsel  issued  an  opinion  describing  the  telephone  inter- 
cepts as  illegal.®^  But  internal  CIA  regulations  have  never  required 
employees  who  know  of  illegal,  improper,  or  questionable  activities 
to  report  them  to  the  General  Counsel;  rather,  employes  with  such 
knoAvledge  are  instructed  to  inform  either  the  Director  of  Central 
Intelligence  or  the  Inspector  General.  The  Director  and  the  Inspector 
General  may  refer  the  matter  to  the  General  Counsel  but  until  recently 
they  were  not  obligated  to  do  so.^®^  As  Richard  Helms  stated,  "Some- 
times we  did  [consult  the  General  Counsel]  ;  sometimes  we  did  not.  I 
think  the  record  on  that  is  rather  spotty,  quite  frankly."  ^^ 

Indeed,  the  record  suggests  that  those  programs  that  were  most 
questionable — such  as  the  New  York  mail  opening  project  and  Project 
CHAOS — were  not  referred  to  the  General  Counsel  because  they  were 

^  Memorandum  from  C.  D.  DeLoaeh  to  Mr.  Tolson,  1/21/66. 

^  DeLoaeh  memorandum,  1/21/66.  This  incident  also  illustrates  that  Congress 
has  at  times  permitted  itself  to  be  "neutralized."  The  general  reluctance  of 
Congress  to  discharge  its  responsibilities  toward  intelligence  agencies  is  dis- 
cussed at  pp.  277-281. 

"  James  Angleton.  9/17/75.  p.  48. 

^'  Memorandum  from  Lawrence  Houston  to  Acting  Chief,  Division  D,  1/29/73. 

***"  Proposed  regulations  drafted  in  response  to  Executive  Order  11905  ( March 
1976)  require  the  Inspector  General  to  refer  "all  legal  matters"  to  the  Office  of 
General  Counsel.  (Draft  Reg.  HR  1-3.) 

"'  Helms  deposition,  9/10/75,  p.  59. 


considered  extremely  sensitive.^"  Even  when  questionable  activities 
were  called  to  the  attention  of  the  General  Counsel,  moreover,  the  in- 
ternal Agency  regulations  did  not  guarantee  him  unrestricted  access 
to  all  relevant  information.  Thus,  the  General  Counsel  was  not  in  a 
position  to  conduct  a  complete  evaluation  of  the  propriety  of  par- 
ticular programs. 

Part  of  the  failure  of  internal  inspection  to  terminate  improper  pro- 
grams and  practices  may  be  attributed  to  the  fact  that  the  primary 
focus  of  the  CIA'S  Office  of  the  Inspector  General  and  the  FBI's  In- 
spection Division  has  been  on  efficiency  and  effectiveness  rather  than 
on  propriety. 

The  CIA's  Inspector  General  is  charged  with  the  responsibility, 
among  other  matters,  of  inxestigating  activities  which  might  be  con- 
strued as  "illegal,  improper,  and  outside  the  CIA's  legislative 
charter."'  ^^  In  at  least  one  case,  the  Inspector  General  did  force  the 
suspension  of  a  suspect,  activity:  the  surreptitious  administration  of 
LSD  to  unwitting,  non- volunteer,  human  subjects  which  was  sus- 
pended in  1963.^2  An  earlier  Inspector  General's  review  of  the  larger, 
more  general  program  for  the  testing  of  behavorial  control  agents, 
however,  had  labeled  that  program  "unethical  and  illegal"  and  it  none- 
theless continued  for  another  seven  years.^^  In  general,  as  the  Rocke- 
feller Connnission  pointed  out,  "the  focus  of  the  Inspector  General 
component  reviews  was  on  operational  effectiveness.  Examination  of 
the  legality  or  propriety  of  CIA  activities  was  not  normally  a  primary 
concern."  ^^  Two  separate  reviews  of  the  Xew  York  mail  opening  proj- 
ects by  the  Inspector  General's  office,  for  example,  considered  issues 
of  administration  and  security  at  length  but  did  not  even  mention 
legal  considerations.^^ 

Internal  inspection  at  the  FBI  has  traditionally  not  encompassed 
legal  or  ethical  questions  at  all.  According  to  W.  Mark  Felt,  the  As- 
sistant FBI  Direci.'or  in  charge  of  the  Inspection  Division  from  1964  to 
1971,  his  job  was  to  ensure  that  Bureau  pi-ogranis  were  being  operated 
efficiently,  not  constitutionally:  "There  was  no  instruction  to  me,"  he 
stated,  "nor  do  I  believe  there  is  any  instruction  in  the  Inspector's 
manuals,  that  inspectors  should  be  on  the  alert  to  see  that  constitu- 
tional values  are  being  protected."  ^^  He  could  not  recall  any  program 
which  was  terminated  because  it  might  have  been  violating  someone's 
civil  rights.^^ 

'"Gordon  Stewart  deposition,  4/30/75,  p.  29;  Rockeller  Commission  Report, 
p.  146 ;  Report  on  tlie  OflSces  of  tlie  General  Counsel  and  Inspector  General :  The 
General  Counsel's  Responsibilities,  9/30/75,  p.  29. 

"'  Regulation  HR  7-la  (6) . 

"^  Memorandum  for  the  Record  by  J.  S.  Earman,  Inspector  General,  11/29/63 ; 
Memorandum  from  Helms  to  DCI,  11/9/64. 

*"  1957  I.G.  Inspection  of  the  Technical  Services  Division. 

^  Rockefeller  Commission  Report,  6/6/75,  p.  89. 

*"  :Memorandum  from  L.  K.  White,  Deputy  Director  for  Supiwrt,  to  Acting  In- 
spector General.  Attachment,  3/9/62;  blind  memorandum,  undated  (1969).  The 
Inspector  General  under  whose  auspices  the  -second  review  was  conducted  stated 
"[0]f  course  we  knew  that  this  was  illegal."  but  he  believed  that  it  was  "un- 
necessary" to  raise  the  matter  of  its  illegality  with  Director  Helms  "since  every- 
body knew  that  it  was  [illegal]  and  it  didn't  seem  .  .  .  that  I  would  be  telling 
Mr.  Helms  anything  that  he  didn't  know."  (Gordon  Stewart,  9/30/75,  p.  32.) 
p.  32. ) 

°'  W.  Mark  Felt  testimony,  2/3/75,  p.  65. 

*'  Felt,  2/3/75,  p.  57. 


A  number  of  quesitionable  FBI  pix)grams  were  apparently  never  in- 
spected. Felt  could  recall  no  inspection,  for  instance,  of  either  the  FBI 
mail  opening  programs  or  the  Bureau's  participation  in  the  CIA's 
New  York  mail  opening  project.^^  Even  when  improper  programs 
were  inspected,  the  Inspection  Division  did  not  attempt  to  exercise 
oversight  in  the  sense  of  looking  for  wrongdoing.  Its  responsibility 
was  simply  to  ensure  that  FBI  policy,  as  defined  by  J.  Edgar  Hoover 
was  effectively  implemented  and  not  to  question  the  propriety  of  the 
policy.^"  Thus,  Felt  testified  that  if,  in  the  course  of  an  inspection  of  a 
field  office,  he  discovered  a  microphone  surveillance  on  Martin  Luther 
King,  Jr.,  the  only  questions  he  would  ask  were  whether  it  had  been 
appix)ved  by  the  Director  and  whether  the  procedures  had  been  prop- 
erly followed.^°° 

When  Felt  was  asked  whether  the  Inspection  Division  con- 
ducted any  investigation  into  the  propriety  of  COINTELPRO,  the 
following  exchange  ensued : 

Mr.  Felt.  Not  into  the  propriety. 

Q.  So  in  the  case  of  COINTELPRO,  as  in  the  case  of 
NSA  interceptions,  your  job  as  Inspector  was  to  determine 
whether  the  program  was  being  pursued  effectively  as  op- 
posed to  whether  it  was  proper  ? 

Mr.  Felt.  Rig'ht,  with  this  exception,  that  in  any  of  these 
situations,  Counterintelligence  Program  or  whatever,  it  very 
frequently  happened  that  the  inspectors,  in  reviewing  the 
files,  would  direct  that  a  certain  investigation  be  discontinued, 
that  iit  was  not  productive,  or  that  there  was  some  reason  that 
it  be  discontinued. 

But  I  don't  recall  any  cases  being  discontinued  in  the 
Counterintelligence  program. ^"^ 

As  a  result  of  this  role  definition,  the  Inspection  Division  became  an 
active  participant  in  some  of  the  most  questionable  FBI  programs  For 
example,  it  was  responsible  for  reviewing  on  an  annual  basis  all  memo- 
randa relating  to  illegal  break-ins  prior  to  their  destiiiction  mider  the 
"DO  NOT  FILE"  procedure. 

Imprx>per  programs  and  techniques  in  the  FBI  were  protected  not 
only  by  the  Inspection  Division's  percepitdon  of  its  function,  but  also 
by  the  maxim  that  FBI  agents  should  never  "embarrass  the  Bureau." 
This  standard,  which  served  as  a  shield  to  outside  scrutiny,  was 
explicitly  reflected  in  the  FBI  Manual : 

Any  investigation  necessary  to  develop  complete  essential 
facts  regarding  any  allegation  against  Bureau  employees 
must  be  instituted  promptly,  and  every  logical  lead  which 
will  establish  the  true  facts  should  be  completely  I'un  out 
unless  such  actio7i  would  eTuban^ass  the  Bureau  .  .  ,  in  which 
event  the  Bureau  will  weigh  the  facts,  along  with  the  recom- 
mendations of  the  division  head.  [Emphasis  added.] ^"^ 

"«  Felt,  2/3/75,  pp.  54,  55. 

■^  Felt,  2/3/75,  pp.  59-60. 

'~  Felt,  2/3/75,  p.  60. 

^"^  Felt,  2/3/75,  pp.  56,  57. 

^"^  When,  asked  about  this  Manual  provision.  Attorney  General  Edward  Levi 
stated : 

"I  do  believe  .  .  .  some  further  explanation  is  in  order.  First,  the  Bureau  in- 
forms me  that  the  provision  has  not  been  intei-preted  to  mean  that  an  investiga- 


Such  an  instruction,  coupled  with  the  Inspection  Division's  inatten- 
tion to  the  hiw,  could  only  inhibit  or  prevent  the  termination  and  ex- 
posure of  illegal  practices. 

Sub  finding  (g) 

AVhen  senior  administration  officials  with  a  duty  to  control  domestic 
intelligence  activities  knew,  or  had  a  basis  for  suspecting,  that  ques- 
tionable activities  had  occurred,  they  often  responded  w^ith  silence  or 
approval.  In  certain  cases,  they  Avere  presented  with  a  partial  descrip- 
tion of  a  program  but  did  not  ask  for  details,  thereby  abdicating  their 
responsibility.  In  other  cases,  they  were  fully  aware  of  the  nature  of 
the  practice  and  implicitly  or  explicitly  approved  it. 

On  several  occasions,  senior  administration  officials  with  a  duty  to 
control  domestic  intelligence  activities  were  supplied  with  partial 
details  about  questionable  or  illegal  programs  but  they  did  not  ask 
for  additional  information  and  the  programs  continued. 

Sometimes  the  failure  to  probe  further  stemmed  from  the  admin- 
istration official's  assumption  that  an  intelligence  agency  would  not 
engage  in  lawless  conduct.  Former  Chief  Postal  Inspector  Henry 
Montague,  for  example,  was  aware  that  the  FBI  received  custody 
of  the  mail  in  connection  with  several  of  its  mail  opening  programs — 
indeed,  he  had  approved  such  custody  in  one  case — but  he  testified 
that  he  believed  these  were  mail  cover  operations  only."^  Montague 
stated  that  he  did  not  ask  FBI  officials  if  the  Bureau  opened  mail 
because  he : 

never  thought  that  would  be  necessary.  ...  I  trusted  them 
the  same  as  I  would  another  [Postal]  Inspector.  I  would 
never  feel  that  I  would  have  to  tell  a  Postal  person  that  you 
cannot  open  mail.  By  the  same  token,  I  would  not  consider 
it  necessary  to  emphasize  it  to  any  great  degree  with  the 


A  former  FBI  official  has  also  testified,  as  noted  above,  that  he 
informed  Attorney  General  Katzenbach  about  selected  aspects  of  the 
FBI  mail  opening  programs.  This  official  did  not  tell  Katzenbach 
that  mail  was  actually  opened,  but  he  testified  that  he  "pointed  out 
[to  the  Attorney  General]  that  we  do  receive  mail  from  the  Post 
Office  in  certain  sensitive  areas."  "^  While  Katzenbach  stated  that  he 
never  knew  mail  was  opened  or  that  the  FBI  gained  access  to  mail 
on  a  regular  basis  in  large-scale  operations,^°^  the  former  Attorney 

tion  should  not  take  place  and  that  'any  interpretation  that  an  investigation 
would  not  be  instituted  because  of  the  possibility  of  embarrassment  to  the  Bureau 
was  never  intended  and,  in  fact,  has  never  been  the  policy  of  this  Bureau.'  I  am 
told  that  'what  was  intended  to  be  conveyed  was  that  in  such  eventuality  FBI 
Headquarters  desired  to  be  advised  of  the  matter  before  investigation  is  in- 
stituted so  that  Headquarters  would  be  on  notice  and  could  direct  the  inquiry, 
if  necessary.' " 

"Second,  the  manual  provision  dates  back  to  March  30,  1955." 

"Third,  I  am  informed  by  the  Bureau  that  'immediate  steps  are  being  taken  to 
remove  that  phraseology  from  our  Manual  of  Rules  and  Regulations.'  " 

(Letter  from  Attorney  General  Levi  to  Senator  Richard  Schweiker,  11/10/75.) 

'■^  Henry  Montague  testimony,  10/2/75,  pp.  55,  71. 

'«  Henry  Montague,  10/2/75,  pp.  15-16. 

'°°  Donald  Moore,  10/1/75,  p.  31. 

"^  Nicholas  Katzenbach.  10/11/75,  p.  35. 


General  acknowledged  that  he  did  learn  that  "in  some  cases  the  out- 
side of  mail  might  have  been  examined  or  even  photographed  by 
persons  other  than  Post  Office  employees"."'  However,  neither  at  this 
time  nor  at  any  other  time  did  the  Justice  Department  make  any 
inquiry  to  determine  the  full  scope  of  the  FBI  mail  operations. 

Similarly,  former  Attorneys  General  Nicholas  Katzenbach  and  Kam- 
sey  Clark  testified  that  they  w^ere  familiar  with  the  FBI's  efforts  to 
disrupt  the  Ku  Klux  Klan  through  regular  investigative  techniques 
but  said  they  were  unaware  of  the  offensive  tactics  that  occurred 
in  COINTELPRO.  Katzenbach  said  he  did  not  believe  it  neces- 
sary to  explore  possible  irregularities  since  "[i]t  never  occurred  to 
me  that  the  Bureau  would  engage  in  the  sort  of  sustained  improper 
activity  which  it  apparently  did."  "® 

Both  Robert  Kennedy  and  Nicholas  Katzenbach  were  also  aware  of 
some  aspects  of  the  FBI's  investigation  of  Dr.  Martin  Luther  King, 
Jr.,  yet  neither  ascertained  the  full  details  of  the  Bureau's  campaign  to 
discredit  the  civil  rights  leader.  Kennedy  intensified  the  original  "com- 
munist influence"  investigation  in  October  1963  by  authorizing  wire- 
taps on  King's  home  and  office  telephones."^  Kennedy  requested  that 
an  evaluation  of  the  results  be  submitted  to  him  in  thirty  days  in 
order  to  determine  whether  or  not  to  maintain  the  taps,  but  the  evalua- 
tion was  never  delivered  to  him  and  he  did  not  insist  on  it."°  Since 
he  never  ordered  the  termination  of  the  wiretap,  the  Bureau  could, 
and  did,  install  additional  wiretaps  on  King  by  invoking  the  original 
authorization."^  According  to  Bureau  memoranda  apparently  ini- 
tialled by  Attorney  General  Katzenbach,  Katzenbach  received  after 
the  fact  notification  in  1965  that  three  bugs  had  been  planted  in 
Dr.  King's  hotel  rooms."^  A  transmittal  memorandum  written  by 

^'"  Katzenbach  statemenit^  12/3/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  205. 

^°^  Katzenbach  testimony,  12/3/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  207 ;  Ramsey  Clark, 
12/3/75 ;  Hearings,  Vol.  6  p.  235 ;  Katzenbach's  and  Clark's  knowledge  of  disrup- 
tive operations  is  discussed  at  greater  length  in  Finding  G  :  "Deficiences  in  Con- 
trol and  Accountability"  p.  265. 

^°®  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  10/7/63; 
memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General.  10/18/63. 

""Memorandum  from  C.  A.  Evans  to  Mr.  Belmont  10/21/63. 

In  May  1961,  Robert  Kennedy  also  became  aware  of  the  CIA's  use  of  organized 
crime  figures  in  connection  with  "clandestine  efforts"  against  the  Cuban  govern- 
ment. (Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  5/22/61.) 
But  he  did  not  instruct  the  CIA  to  terminate  its  involvement  with  underworld 
figures  either  at  that  time  or  in  May  1962,  when  he  learned  at  a  briefing  by  CIA 
ofiicials  that  an  assassination  attempt  had  occurred.  According  to  the  CIA's  Gen- 
eral Coimsel,  who  participated  in  the  1962  briefing,  Kennedy  only  said,  ".  .  .  if  we 
were  going  to  get  involved  with  Mafia  personnel  again  he  wanted  to  be  informed 
first."  (Lawrence  Houston  deposition,  6/2/75,  p.  14.) 

The  CIA's  use  of  underworld  figures  clearly  posed  problems  for  the  FBI's  on- 
going investigation  of  organized  crime  in  the  United  States,  which  had  in  large 
part  been  initiated  by  Attorney  General  Kennedy  himself.  (Senate  Select  Com- 
mittee, "Alleged  Assassination  Plots  Involving  Foreign  Leaders,"  pp.  125-129.) 

"'  The  FBI  instituted  additional  wiretaps  on  King  on  four  separate  occasions 
between  1964  and  1965.  Since  Justice  Department  policy  before  March  1965 
imposed  no  limit  on  the  duration  of  wiretaps  and  they  were  approved  by  the 
Attorney  General,  the  Bureau  claimed  that  the  King  taps  were  justified  as  a  con- 
tinuation of  the  tap  originally  authorized  by  Kennedy  in  October  1963.  (For  ex- 
ample, memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Atlanta  Field  Office.  4/19/65 : 
Martin  Luther  King  Report :  Sec.  IC,  "Wiret-ap  Surveillance  of  Dr.  King  and  the 

""  Katzenbach's  initials  appear  on  memoranda  addressed  to  the  Attorney  Gen- 
eral advising  him  of  these  bugs,  but  he  cannot  recall  seeing  or  initialing  them. 


Katzenbach  also  indicates  that  he  may  have  instructed  the  FBI  to 
be  "very  cautious"  in  conducting  these  surveillances."^  There  is  no 
indication,  however,  that  he  requested  further  details  about  any  of 
them  or  prohibited  the  FBI  from  future  use  of  this  technique  against 
Dr.  King. 

While  there  is  no  evidence  that  the  full  extent  of  the  FBI's  campaign 
to  discredit  Dr.  King  was  authorized  by  or  known  to  anyone  outside 
of  the  Bureau,  there  is  evidence  that  officials  responsible  for  supervis- 
ing the  FBI  received  indications  that  some  such  efforts  were  being 
undertaken.  For  example,  former  Attorney  General  Katzenbach  and 
former  Assistant  Attorney  General  Burke  Marshall  both  testified 
that  in  late  1964  they  learned  that  the  Bureau  had  offered  tape  record- 
ings of  Dr.  King  to  certain  newsmen  in  Washington,  D.C.  They  fur- 
ther stated  that  they  informed  President  Johnson  of  the  FBI's 
offers."*  The  Committee  has  discovered  no  evidence,  however,  that  the 
President  or  Justice  Depai'tment  officials  made  any  further  effort  to 
halt  the  discrediting  campaign  at  this  time  or  at  any  other  time;  in- 
deed, the  Bureau's  campaign  continued  for  several  years  after  this 

On  some  occasions,  administration  officials  did  not  request  further 
details  about  intelligence  programs  because  they  simply  did  not  want 
to  know.  Former  Postmaster  General  J.  Edward  Day  testified  that 
when  Allen  Dulles  and  Richard  Helms  spoke  to  him  about  a  CIA 
project  in  1961,  he  interrupted  them  before  they  could  tell  him  the 
purpose  of  their  visit  (which  Helms  said  was  to  say  mail  was  being- 
opened).  Day  stated : 

.  .  .  Mr.  Dulles,  after  some  preliminary  visiting  and  so  on, 
said  that  he  wanted  to  tell  me  something  very  secret,  and  I 
said,  "Do  I  have  to  know  about  it  ?"'  And  he  said,  "No.'' 

I  said,  "My  experience  is  that  where  there  is  something  that 
is  very  secret,  it  is  likely  to  leak  out,  and  anybody  that  knew 
about  it  is  likely  to  be  suspected  of  having  been  part  of  leak- 
ing it  out,  so  I  would  rather  not  know  anything  about  it." 

What  additional  things  were  said  in  connection  with  him 
building  up  to  that,  I  don't  know.  But  I  am  sure  .  .  .  that  I 
was  not  told  anything  about  opening  mail."  "^ 

By  his  ow^n  account,  therefore,  Mr.  Day  did  not  learn  the  true  nature 
of  this  project  because  he  "would  rather  not  know  anything  about  it." 
Although  rarely  expressed  in  such  unequivocal  terms,  this  attitude 
appears  to  have  been  all  too  common  among  senior  government 

(Memoranda  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  5/17/65,  10/19/65, 
12/1/65:  Katzenbach,  12/1/75.  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  211,  p.  46.)  He  stated,  how- 
ever, that  if  he  had  read  these  dociiments,  he  would  have  "done  somethmg  about 
it."  (Katzenbach,  Hearings,  Vol.  6.  p.  230.) 

"'  xV  transmittal  slip,  which  the  FBI  claims  had  been  attached  to  the  12/1/65 
memorandum,  notes  that  "these  are  particularly  delicate  surveillances"  and 
that  "we  should  be  very  cautious  in  terms  of  the  non-FBI  people  who  may  from 
time  to  time  necessarily  be  involved  in  some  aspect  of  installation."  (Memo- 
randiun  from  Xichola.s  Katzenbach  to  .T.  Edgar  Hoover,  12/10/65.)  This  mes- 
sage is  signed  by  Katzenbach,  but  he  testified  that  he  is  unsure  it  related  to 
the  King  surveillances.  (Katzenbach,  12/3/75.  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  229.) 

"'  Katzenbach,  12/3/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  210 ;  Burke  Marshall  testimony, 
3/3/76,  pp.  39-43. 

'"  J.  Edward  Day  testimony,  10/22/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  4.  p.  45. 


Even  when  administration  officials  were  fully  apprised  of  the  illegal 
or  questionable  nature  of  certain  programs  and  techniques,  they  some- 
times permitted  them  to  continue.  An  example  of  acquiescence  is  pre- 
sented in  the  case  of  William  Cotter,  a  former  Chief  Postal  Inspector 
who  knew  that  the  CIA  opened  mail  in  connection  with  its  New  York 
project  but  took  no  direct  action  to  terminate  the  project  for  a  period 
of  four  years. ^^^  Cotter  had  learned  of  this  project  in  his  capacity  as  a 
CIA  official  in  the  mid-1950's  and  he  knew  that  it  was  continuing  when 
he  was  sworn  in  as  Chief  Postal  Inspector  in  April  1969.^^^  Be- 
cause the  primary  responsibility  of  his  position  was  to  insure  the 
sanctity  of  the  mails,  he  was  understandably  "very,  very  uncomfort- 
able with  [knowledge  of  the  New  York]  project,"  ^^^  but  he  felt  con- 
strained by  the  letter  and  spirit  of  the  secrecy  oath  which  he  had  signed 
when  he  left  the  CIA  in  1969  "attesting  to  the  fact  that  I  vrould  not 
divulge  secret  information  that  came  into  my  possession  during  the 
time  that  I  was  with  the  CIA."  ^^^  Cotter  stated  :  "After  coming  from 
eighteen  years  in  the  CIA,  I  was  hypersensitive,  perhaps,  to  the  pro- 
tection of  what  I  believed  to  be  a  most  sensitive  project  .  .  ."  ^-°  For 
several  years,  he  placed  the  dictate  of  the  secrecy  oath  above  that  of 
the  law  he  was  charged  with  enforcing. 

Former  White  House  adviser  John  Ehrlichman  also  stated  that  he 
learned  of  a  program  of  intercepting  mail  between  the  United  States 
and  Communist  countries  "because  I  had  seen  reports  that  cited  those 
kinds  of  sources  in  connection  with  this,  the  bombings,  the  dissident 
activities."  ^^^  Yet  he  cannot  recall  any  White  House  inquiry  that  was 
made  into  such  a  program  nor  can  he  recall  raising  the  matter  with  the 

When  President  Nixon  learned  of  the  illegal  techniques  that  were 
recommended  in  the  Huston  Plan,  he  initially  endorsed,  rather  than 
disavowed  them.  The  former  President  stated  that  "[t]o  the  extent 
that  I  reviewed  the  Special  Report  of  Interagency  Committee  on  In- 
telligence, I  would  have  been  informed  that  certain  recommendations 
or  decisions  set  forth  in  that  report  were,  or  might  be  construed  to  be, 
illegal."  ^"^  He  nonetheless  approved  them,  in  part  because  they  repre- 
sented an  efficient  method  of  intelligence  collection.  As  President  Nixon 
explained,  "[M]y  approval  was  based  largely  on  the  fact  that  the  pro- 
cedures were  consistent  with  those  employed  by  prior  administrations 
and  had  been  found  to  be  effective  by  the  intelligence  agencies."  ^^^ 

Mr.  Nixon  also  apparently  relied  on  the  theory  that  a  "sovereign" 
President  can  authorize  the  violation  of  criminal  laws  in  the  name  of 
"national  security"  when  the  President,  in  his  sole  discretion,  deems  it 
appropriate.  He  recently  stated : 

"'  In  1973,  however,  Mr.  Cotter  was  instrumental  in  effecting  the  termination 
of  the  CIA's  New  York  project.  ( Cotter,  8/7/75,  p.  45. ) 

'"  Cotter,  8/7/75,  p.  45. 

"*  Ibid. 

"'  Cotter  10/22/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  4,  p.  74. 

^-°  Ibid. 

^^^  John  Erlichman  testimony.  President's  Commission  on  CIA  Activities 
Within  the  United  States,  4/17/75,  p.  98. 

^^  Erlichman  testimony.  President's  Commission  on  CIA  Activities  Within  the 
United  States,  4/17/75,  p.  98. 

^  Answer  of  Richard  M.  Nixon  to  Senate  Select  Committee  Interrogatory  23, 
3/9/76,  p.  13. 

"*  Answer  of  Richard  M.  Nixon  to  Senate  Select  Committee  Interrogatory  19, 
3/9/76,  p.  13. 


It  is  quite  obvious  that  there  are  certain  inherently  govern- 
mental actions  which  if  undertaken  by  the  sovereign  in  protec- 
tion of  the  interest  of  the  nation's  security  are  lawful  but 
which  if  undertaken  by  private  persons  are  not.  .  .  . 

.  .  .  [I]t  is  naive  to  attempt  to  categorize  activities  a  Presi- 
dent might  authorize  as  "legal"  or  "illegar"  without  refer- 
ence to  the  circumstances  under  which  he  concludes  that  the 
activity  is  necessary.  .  .  . 

In  short,  there  have  been — and  will  be  in  the  future — cir- 
cumstances in  which  Presidents  may  lawfully  authorize  ac- 
tions in  the  interests  of  the  security  of  this  country,  which  if 
undertaken  by  other  persons,  or  even  by  the  President  under 
different  circumstances,  would  be  illegal. ^^^ 

As  the  former  President  described  this  doctrine,  it  could  apply  not 
only  to  actions  taken  openly,  which  are  subject  to  later  challenge  by 
Congress  and  the  courts,  but  also  to  actions  such  as  those  recommended 
in  the  Huston  Plan,  which  are  covertly  endorsed  and  implemented. 
The  dangers  inherent  in  this  theory  are  clear,  for  it  permits  a  Presi- 
dent to  create  exceptions  to  normal  legal  restraints  and  prohibitions, 
without  review  by  a  neutral  authority  and  without  objective  stand- 
ards to  guide  him.^^^  The  Huston  Plan  itself  serves  as  a  reminder  of 
these  dangers. 

Significantly,  President  Nixon's  revocation  of  approval  for  the 
Huston  Plan  was  based  on  the  possibility  of  "media  criticism"  if  the 
use  of  these  techniques  was  revealed.  The  former  President  stated  : 

Mr.  Mitchell  informed  me  that  it  was  Director  Hoover's  opin- 
ion that  initiating  a  program  which  would  permit  several 
government  intelligence  agencies  to  utilize  the  investigative 
techniques  outlined  in  the  Committee's  report-  would  signifi- 
cantly increase  the  possibility  of  their  public  disclosure.  Mr. 
Mitchell  explained  to  me  that  Mr.  Hoover  believed  that  al- 
though each  of  the  intelligence  gathering  methods  outlined  in 
the  Committee's  recommendations  had  been  utilized  by  one  or 
more  previous  Administrations,  their  sensitivity  would  likely 
generate  media  criticism  if  they  were  employed.  Mr.  Mitchell 
further  informed  me  that  it  was  his  opinion  that  the  risk  of 
disclosure  of  the  possible  illegal  actions,  such  as  unauthorized 
entry  into  foreign  embassies  to  install  a  microphone  transmit- 
ter, w^as  greater  than  the  possible  benefit  to  be  derived.  Based 
upon  this  conversation  with  Attorney  General  Mitchell,  I  de- 
cided to  revoke  the  approval  originally  extended  to  the  Com- 
mittee's recommendations.^^^ 

In  more  than  one  instance,  administration  officials  outside  the  in- 
telligence community  have  specifically  requested  intelligence  agencies 
to  undertake  questionable  actions.  NSA's  program  of  monitoring  tele- 
phonic conmiunications  between  New^  York  City  and  a  city  in  South 
America,  for  example,  was  undertaken  at  the  specific  request  of  the 
Bureau  of  Narcotics  and  Dangerous  Drugs,  a  law  enforcement  agency, 

^^  Answer  of  Richard  M.  Nixon  to  Senate  Select  Committee  Interrogatory  34, 
3/9/76,  pp.  16-17. 

^  President  Ford  has  recently  rejected  this  doctrine  of  Presidential  power. 

^"  Answer  of  Richard  M.  Nixon  to  Senate  Select  Committee  Interrogatory  17, 
3/9/76,  pp.  11-12. 

68-786  O  -  76  -  12 


BNDD  officials  had  been  concerned  abont  drug  deals  that  were  appar- 
ently arranged  in  calls  from  public  telephones  in  New  York  to  South 
America,  but  they  felt  that  they  could  not  legally  wiretap  these  tele- 
phone booths.^^^  in  order  to  avoid  tapping  a  limited  number  of  phones 
in  New  York,  BNDD  submitted  the  names  of  450  American  citizens 
for  inclusion  in  NSA's  Watch  List,  and  requested  NSA  to  monitor  a 
communications  link  between  New  York  and  South  America  Avhich 
necessitated  the  interception  of  thousands  of  international  telephone 

The  legal  limitations  on  domestic  wiretapping  apparently  did  not 
concern  certain  officials  in  the  "White  House  or  Attorneys  General  who 
requested  the  FBI  to  do  their  bidding.  In  some  instances,  they  specif- 
ically requested  the  FBI  to  institute  wiretaps  on  American  citizens 
with  no  substantial  national  security  predicate  for  doing  so."*' 

On  occasion,  Attorneys  General  have  also  encouraged  the  FBI  to 
circumvent  the  will  of  both  Congress  and  the  Supreme  Court.  As  noted 
above,  after  Congress  passed  the  Emergency  Detention  Act  of  1950  to 
regulate  the  FBI  program  for  listing  people  to  be  detained  in  case  of 
war  or  other  emergency.  Justice  Department  officials  concluded  that 
its  procedural  safeguards  and  substantive  standards  were  "unwork- 
able". Attorney  General  J.  Howard  McGrath  instnicted  the  FBI  to 
disregard  the  statute  and  "proceed  with  the  [Security  Index]  program 
as  previously  outlined."  "^  Two  subsequent  Attorneys  General — James 
McGranery  and  Herbert  Brownell — endorsed  the  decision  to  ignore 
the  Emergency  Detention  Act.^^^ 

In  1954,  the  Supreme  Court  denounced  the  use  of  microphone  sur- 
veillances by  local  police  in  criminal  cases ;  ^^^  the  fact  that  a  micro- 
phone had  been  installed  in  a  defendant's  bedroom  particularly  out- 
raged the  court.  Within  weeks  of  this  decision,  however.  Attorney 
General  Herbert  Brownell  reversed  the  existing  Justice  Department 
policy  prohibiting  trespassory  microphone  installations  by  the  FBI, 
and  p-ave  the  Bureau  sweeping  new  authority  to  engage  in  bugging  for 
intelligence  purposes — even  when  it  meant  planting  microphones  in 
bedrooms.^^*  Brownell  wrote  J.  Edgar  Hoover : 

Obviously,  the  installation  of  a  microphone  in  a  bedroom  or 
in  some  comparably  intimate  location  should  be  avoided 
whenever  possible.  It  may  appear,  however,  that  important 
intelligence  or  evidence  relating  to  matters  connected  with  the 
national  security  can  only  be  obtained  by  the  installation  of  a 
microphone  in  such  a  location.  .  .  . 

...  I  recognize  that  for  the  FBI  to  fulfill  its  important  in- 
telligence function,  considerations  of  internal  security  and  the 
national  safety  are  paramount  and,  therefore,  may  compel  the 
unrestricted  use  of  this  technique  in  the  national  interest.^^^ 

"'  Milton  Iredell,  9/18/75,  p.  99. 

^°  Memorandum  from  IngersoU  to  Gayler,  4/10/70. 

^^  See  Findings,  "Political  Abuse"  and  "Intrusive  Techniques"  for  examples. 

^^  Memorandum  from  A.  H.  Belmont  to  D.  M.  Ladd,  10/15/52. 

"^  Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  James  McGranery  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover. 
11/25/52 :  memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Herbert  Brownell  to  J.  Edgar 
Hoover,  4/27/53. 

^^^  Irvine  v.  California,  347  U.S.  128  (1954). 

'^  Memorandum  from  the  Attorney  General  to  the  Director,  FBI,  5/20/54. 

""Memorandum  from  the  Attorney  General  to  the  Director,  FBI,  5/20/54. 


Brownell  did  not  even  require  the  Bureau  to  seek  the  Attorney  Gen- 
eral's prior  approval  for  microphone  installations  in  particular 
cases.^^*^  In  the  face  of  the  Irvine  decision,  therefore,  he  gave  the  FBI 
authority  to  bug  whomever  it  wished  wherever  it  wished  in  cases  that 
the  Bureau — and  not  the  Attorney  General — determined  were  "in  the 
national  interest." 

In  short,  disregard  of  the  law  by  intelligence  officers  was  seldom 
corrected,  and  sometimes  encouraged  or  facilitated,  by  officials  out- 
side the  agencies.  "Whether  by  inaction  or  direct  participation,  these 
administration  officials  contributed  to  the  perception  that  legal  re- 
straints did  not  apply  to  intelligence  activities. 

'^  Ibid. 



Major  Finding 

The  Committee  finds  that  domestic  intelligence  activity  has  been 
overbroad  in  that  (1)  many  Americans  and  domestic  groups  have  been 
subjected  to  investigation  who  were  not  suspected  of  criminal  activity 
and  (2)  the  intelligence  agencies  have  regularly  collected  information 
about  personal  and  political  activities  irrelevant  to  any  legitimate  gov- 
ernmental interest. 


(a)  Large  numbers  of  law-abiding  Americans  and  lawful  domestic 
groups  have  been  subjected  to  extensive  intelligence  investigation  and 

(b)  The  absence  of  precise  standards  for  intelligence  investigations 
of  Americans  contributed  to  overbreadth.  Congress  did  not  enact  stat- 
utes precisely  delineating  the  authority  of  the  intelligence  agencies  or 
defining  the"  purpose  and  scope  of  domestic  intelligence  acti^-ity.  The 
executive  branch  abandoned  the  standard  set  by  Attorney  General 
Stone — that  the  government's  concern  was  not  with  political  opinions 
but  with  "such  conduct  as  is  forbidden  by  the  laws  of  the  United 
States."  Intelligence  agencies'  superiors  issued  over-inclusive  direc- 
tives to  investigate  "subversion"  (a  term  that  was  never  defined  in 
presidential  directives)  and  "potential"  rather  than  actual  or  likely 
criminal  conduct,  as  well  as  to  collect  general  intelligence  on  law- 
ful political  and  social  dissent. 

(c)  The  intelligence  agencies  themselves  used  imprecise  and  over- 
inclusive  criteria  in  their  conduct  of  intelligence  investigations.  Intel- 
ligence investigations  extended  beyond  "subversive''  or  violent  targets 
to  additional  groups  and  individuals  subiect  to  minimal  "subversive 
influence"  or  having  little  or  no  "potentiar"  for  violence. 

(d)  Intelligence  agencies  pursued  a  "vacuum  cleaner"  approach  to 
intelligence  collection — drawing  in  all  available  information  about 
groups  and  individuals,  including  their  lawful  political  activity  and 
details  of  their  personal  lives. 

(e)  Intelligence  investigations  in  many  cases  continued  for  exces- 
sively long  periods  of  time,  resulting  in  sustained  gOA-ernmental  moni- 
toring of  political  activity  in  the  absence  of  any  indication  of  criminal 
conduct  or  "subversion." 

Elahoration  of  Findings 

The  central  problem  posed  by  domestic  intelligence  activity  has  been 
its  departure  from  the  standards  of  the  law.  This  departure  from  law 
has  meant  not  only  the  violation  of  constitutional  prohibitions  and 
explicit  statutes,  but  also  the  adoption  of  criteria  unrelated  to  the  law 
as  the  basis  for  extensive  investigations  of  Americans. 



In  1917-192-i,  the  federal  government,  often  assisted  by  the  private 
vigilante  American  Protective  League,  conducted  sweeping  investiga- 
tions of  dissenters,  war  i^rotesters,  labor  organizers,  and  alleged  "'anar- 
chists-' and  '"revolutionaries."  These  investigations  led  to  mass  "arrests 
of  thousands  of  persons  in  the  1920  '"Palmer  raids.*'  Reacting  to  these 
and  other  abuses  of  investigative  power,  Attorney  General  Harlan 
Fiske  Stone  in  1924  confined  the  Bureau  of  Investigation  in  the  Jus- 
tice Department  to  the  investigation  of  federal  crimes.  Attorney  Gen- 
eral Stone  articulated  a  clear  and  workable  standard  : 

The  Bureau  of  Investigation  is  not  concerned  with  political 
or  other  opinions  of  individuals.  It  is  concerned  only  with 
their  conduct  and  then  only  such  conduct  as  is  forbidden  by 
the  laws  of  the  United  States.^ 

Nevertheless,  his  restriction  lasted  for  little  more  than  a  decade. 

In  the  micl-1930s  the  FBI  resumed  domestic  intelligence  functions, 
carrying  out  President  Roosevelt's  vague  order  to  investigate  "sub- 
versive activities."  The  President  and  the  Attorney  General  author- 
ized FBI  and  military  intelligence  investigations  of  conduct  explicitly 
recognized  as  '"not  within  the  specific  provisions  of  prevailing  stat- 
utes." As  a  result,  ideas  and  associations,  rather  than  suspicion  of 
criminal  offenses,  once  again  became  the  focus  of  federal  investigations. 

The  scope  of  domestic  intelligence  investigations  consistently  wid- 
ened in  the  decades  after  the  1930s,  reaching  its  greatest  extent  in  the 
late  1960s  and  early  1970s. 

Domestic  intelligence  investigations  were  permitted  under  criteria 
which  more  nearly  resembled  political  or  social  labels  than  standards 
for  governmental  action.  Rather  than  Attorne}'  General  Stone's  stand- 
ard of  investigating  "only  such  conduct  as  is  forbidden  by  the  laws  of 
the  United  States,"  domestic  intelligence  used  such  labels  as  the  fol- 
lowing to  target  intelligence  investigations : 

— "rightist"  or  "extremist''  groups  in  the  "anticommunist 

— persons  with  "anarchistic  or  revolutionary  beliefs"  or 
who  were  "espousing  the  line  of  revolutionary  movements" 

— "general  racial  matters" 

— "hate  organizations'' 

— "rabble  rousers" 

— "key  activists" 

— "black  nationalists" 

— "white  supremacists" 

— "agitators" 

— "kej-  black  extremists" 

These  broad  and  imprecise  labels  reflect  the  ill-defined  mission  of 
domestic  intelligence,  which  resulted  from  recurring  demands  for 
progressively  wider  investigations  of  Americans.  Without  the  firm 

^  New  York  Times,  5/10/24.  Attorney  General  Stone  implemented  this  policy  by 
issuing  a  directive  to  Acting  Director  J.  Edgar  Hoover  of  the  Bureau  of  Inves- 
tigation :  "The  activities  of  the  Bureau  are  to  be  limited  strictly  to  investigations 
of  violations  of  law.  under  my  direction  or  under  the  direction  of  an  Assistant 
Attorney  General  regularly  conducting  the  work  of  the  Department  of  .Justice. " 
(Memorandum  from  Attorney  General  Stone  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  n/13/24.  cited 
in  Alpheus  Thomas  Mason.  Harlan  Fiske  Stone:  Pillar  of  the  Law  [New  York: 
Viking  Press,  1956),  p.  151.] 


guidance  provided  by  law,  intelligence  activities  intruded  into  areas 
of  American  life  which  are  protected  from  governmental  inquiry  by 
the  constitutional  guarantees  of  personal  privacy  and  free  speech  and 

Subfinding  {a) 

Large  numbers  of  law-abiding  Americans  and  lawful  domestic 
groups  have  been  subjected  to  extensive  intelligence  investigation  and 

Some  domestic  intelligence  activity  has  focused  on  specific  illegal 
conduct  or  on  instances  where  there  was  tangible  evidence  that  illegal 
conduct  was  likely  to  occur.  But  domestic  intelligence  has  gone  far 
beyond  such  matters  in  collecting  massive  amounts  of  data  on  Amer- 
icans. For  example : 

FBI  Domestic  Intelligence. — The  FBI  has  compiled  at  its  head- 
quarters over  480,000  files  on  its  "subversion''  investigations  and  over 
33,000  files  on  its  "extremism''  investigations.-  During  the  twenty 
years  from  1955  to  1975,  the  FBI  conducted  710,000  investigations  of 
"subversive  matters"  and  190,000  investigatioiis  of  "extremist  mat- 
ters." ^  The  targets  for  FBI  intelligence  collection  have  included : 

— the  Women's  Liberation  Movement ; 

— the  conservative  Christian  Front  and  Christian  Mobiliz- 
ers  of  Father  Couglilin ; 

— the  conservative  American  Christian  Action  Council  of 
Rev.  Carl  Mclntyre ; 

— a  wide  variety  of  university,  church  and  political  groups 
opposed  to  the  Vietnam  war ; 

— those  in  the  non-violent  civil  rights  movement,  such  as 
Martin  Luther  King's  Southern  Christian  Leadership  Coun- 
cil, the  National  Association  for  the  Advancement  of  Colored 
People  (NAACP),  and  the  Council  on  Racial  Equality 

ArTYiy  Surveill'ttnce  of  Civilians. — The  Army's  nationwide  intel- 
ligence surveillance  program  created  files  on  some  100,000  Americans 
and  an  equally  large  number  of  domestic  organizations,  encompassing 
virtually  every  group  seeking  peaceful  change  in  the  LTnited  States 
including : 

— the  John  Birch  Society ; 

— Young  Americans  for  Freedom ; 

— the  National  Organization  of  Women ; 

—the  NAACP; 

— the  Urban  League ; 

— ^the  Anti-Defamation  League  of  B'nai  B'irth ;  and 

Business  Executives  to  End  the  War  in  Vietnam.* 

CIA's  CHAOS  Progrmn.— The  CIA's  extensive  CHAOS  pro- 
gram— which  compiled  intelligence  on  domestic  groups  and  individ- 
uals protesting  the  Vietnam  war  and  racial  conditions — amassed  some 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  to  Select  Committee,  10/6/75. 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  to  Select  Committee,  Re :  Investigative  Matters,  re- 
ceived 11/12/75.  These  statistics  include  as  separate  "matters"  investigative 
leads  pursued  by  different  FBI  oflBces  in  the  same  case. 

*  Senate  Judiciary  Subcommittee  on  Con.stitutional  Rights,  "Federal  Data 
Banks,  Computers,  and  Bill  of  Rights,"  1971,  p.  264. 


10,000  intelligence  files  on  American  citizens  and  groups  and  indexed 
300,000  names  of  Americans  in  CIA  computer  records.^ 

IB/S  Selective  Tax  I  nv  est  t  gat  ions  of  Dissenters. — Between  1969  and 
1973,  the  Internal  Revenue  Service,  through  a  secret  "Special  Service 
Staff"  (SSS),  targeted  more  than  10,000  individuals  and  groups  for 
tax  examinations  because  of  their  political  activity.*'  The  FBI  and  the 
Internal  Security  Division  of  the  Justice  Department  gave  SSS  lists 
of  taxpayers  deemed  to  be  "activists''  or  "ideological  organizations;" 
the  FBI,  in  providing  SSS  with  a  list  of  over  2,000  groups  and  in- 
dividuals classified  as  "Right  Wing,"  "New  Left,"  and  "Old  Left," 
expressed  its  hope  that  SSS  tax  examinations  would  "deal  a  blow  to 
dissident  elements."  ''  A  smaller  though  more  intensive  selective  en- 
forcement program,  the  "Ideological  Organization  Project,"  was  es- 
tablished in  November  1961  in  response  to  White  House  criticism  of 
"right-wing  extremist"  groups.*  On  the  basis  of  such  political  criteria, 
18  organizations  were  selected  for  special  audit  although  there  was  no 
evidence  of  tax  violation.^  In  1964,  the  IRS  proposed  to  expand  its 
program  to  make  "10,000  examinations  of  [tax]  exempt  organizations 
of  all  types  including  the  extremist  groups."  ^°  Although  this  program 
never  fully  materialized,  the  "Ideological  Organizations  Project"  can 
be  viewed  as  a  precursor  to  SSS. 

CIA  and  FBI  Mail  Opening. — The  12  mail  opening  programs  con- 
ducted by  the  CIA  and  FBI  between  1940  and  1973  resulted  in  the 
illegal  opening  of  hundreds  of  thousands  of  first-class  letters.  In  the 
1960s  and  early  1970s,  the  international  correspondence  of  large  num- 
bers of  Americans  who  challenged  the  condition  of  racial  minorities 
or  who  opposed  the  war  in  Vietnam  was  specifically  targeted  for  mail 
opening  by  both  the  CIA  and  FBI. 

The  overbreadth  of  the  longest  CIA  mail  opening  program — the  20 
year  (1953-1973)  program  in  New  York  City — is  shown  by  the  fact 
that  of  the  more  than  28  million  letters  screened  by  the  CIA,  the  ex- 
teriors of  2.7  million  were  photographed  and  214,820  letters  were 
opened.  ^^  This  is  further  shown  by  the  fact  that  American  groups 
and  individuals  placed  on  the  Watch  List  for  the  project  included : 

— The  Federation  of  American  Scientists ; 

— authors  such  as  John  Steinbeck  and  Edward  Albee; 

— numerous  American  peace  groups  such  as  the  American 
Friends  Service  Committee  and  Women's  Strike  for  Peace; 

— businesses,  such  as  Praeger  Publishers.  ^^ 

By  one  CIA  estimate,  random  selection  accounted  for  75  percent  of 
the  200,000  letters  opened,  including  letters  to  or  from  American 
political  figures,  such  as  Richard  Nixon,  while  a  presidential  candidate 
in  1968,  and  Senators  Frank  Church  and  Edward  Kennedy.^^ 

^  See  CHAOS  Report :  Sec.  II  D,  "Operation  of  the  CHAOS  Program  and  Re- 
lated CIA  Projects." 

"See  IRS  Report:  Part  II,  Sec.  II,  "Special  Service  Staff." 

'  Memorandum  from  D.  J.  Brennan  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  8/15/69. 

*  Memorandum  from  William  Loeb  to  Dean  Barron,  11/30/61. 

*  Memorandum  from  Mitchell  Rogovin  to  Dean  Barron,  12/20/61. 
"Memorandum  from  Commissioner,  IRS  to  Myer  Feldman,  7/11/63. 

"  See  Mail  Report :  Part  I,  "Domestic  CIA  and  FBI  Mail  Opening  Programs." 
"See  Mail  Report:  Part  II,  Sec.  II  B(l),  "Selection  Criteria." 
"See  Mail  Report:  Part  II,  Sec.  II  B(l),  "Selection  Criteria." 


NjSA's  Watch  List  and  SHAMROCK  Programs.— Th^  National 
Security  Agency's  SHAMROCK  program,  by  which  copies  of  mil- 
lions of  telegrams  sent  to,  from,  or  through  the  United  States  were 
obtained  between  1947  and  1973,  involved  the  use  of  a  Watch  List 
from  1967-1973.  The  watch  list  included  groups  and  individuals  se- 
lected by  the  FBI  for  its  domestic  intelligence  investigations  and  by 
the  CIA  for  its  Operation  CHAOS  program.  In  addition,  the  SHAM- 
ROCK Program  resulted  in  NSA's  obtaining  not  only  telegrams  to 
and  from  certain  foreign  targets,  but  countless  telegrams  between 
Americans  in  the  United  States  and  American  or  foreign  parties 

In  short,  virtually  every  element  of  our  society  has  been  subjected  to 
excessive  government-ordered  intelligence  inquiries.  Opposition  to  gov- 
ernment policy  or  the  expression  of  controversial  views  was  frequently 
considered  sufficient  for  collecting  data  on  Americans. 

The  committee  finds  that  this  extreme  breadth  of  intelligence  activ- 
ity is  inconsistent  with  the  principles  of  our  Constitution  which  pro- 
tect the  rights  of  speech,  political  activity,  and  privacy  against  un- 
justified governmental  intrusion. 

Subfinding  (h) 

The  absence  of  precise  standards  for  intelligence  investigations  of 
Americans  contributed  to  overbreadth.  Congress  did  not  enact  statutes 
precisely  delineating  the  authority  of  the  intelligence  agencies  or 
defining  the  purpose  and  scope  of  domestic  intelligence  activity.  The 
Executive  branch  abandoned  the  standard  set  by  Attorney  General 
Stone — that  the  government's  concern  was  not  with  politicial  opinions 
but  with  "such  conduct  as  is  forbidden  by  the  laws  of  the  United 
States."  Intelligence  agencies'  superiors  issued  overinclusive  directives 
to  investigate  "subversion''  (a  term  that  was  never  defined  in  presi- 
dential directives)  and  "potential"  rather  than  actual  or  likely  crim- 
inal conduct,  as  well  as  to  collect  general  intelligence  on  lawful 
political  and  social  dissent. 

Congress  has  never  set  out  a  specific  statutory  charter  for  FBI 
domestic  intelligence  activity  delineating  the  standards  for  opening 
intelligence  investigations  or  defining  the  purpose  and  scoi:)e  of  do- 
mestic intelligence  activity. ^^ 

Nor  have  the  charters  for  foreign  intelligence  agencies — the  Cen- 
tral Intelligence  Agency  and  the  National  Security  Agency — articu- 
lated adequate  standards  to  insure  that  those  agencies  did  not  be- 
come involved  in  domestic  intelligence  activity.  While  the  1947  Na- 
tional Security  Act  provided  that  the  CIA  shall  have  no  "police, 
subpoena,  law  enforcement  powers  or  internal  security  functions,"  ^® 

^*  See  "National  Security  Agency  Surveillance  Affecting  Americans",  NSA 
Report :  Sec.  II  A,  "Summary  of  XSA  Watch  List  Activity". 

^  The  FBI's  statutory  authority  provides  that  the  Attorney  General  may  ap- 
point oflScials:  "(1)  to  detect  and  prosecute  crimes  against  the  United  States; 
(2)  to  assist  in  the  protection  of  the  President;  and  (3)  to  conduct  such  in- 
vestigations regarding  oflScial  matters  under  the  control  of  the  Department  of 
Justice  and  the  Department  of  State  as  may  be  directed  by  the  Attorney  Gen- 
eral."  (28  U.S.C.  .533.) 

Attorney  General  Edward  H.  Levi  told  the  Select  Committee  "that  the  statu- 
tory basis  for  the  operations  of  the  Bureau  cannot  be  said  to  be  fully  satisfac- 
torv."   (Edward  H.  Levi  testimony,  12/11/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  313.) 

"50  U.S.C.  403  (d)(3). 


the  Act  was  silent  concerning  whether  the  CIA  was  authorized  to 
target  Americans  abroad  or  to  gather  intelligence  in  the  United  States 
on  Americans  or  foreign  nationals  in  comiection  with  its  foreign  in- 
telligence responsibilities.  By  classified  presidential  directive,  the  CIA 
was  authorized  to  conduct  counterintelligence  operations  abroad  and 
to  maintain  central  counterintelligence  files  for  the  intelligence  com- 
munity.^^ Counterintelligence  activity  was  defined  in  the  directive  to 
include  protection  of  the  nation  against  "subversion,"  a  term  which, 
as  in  the  directives  authorizing  FBI  domestic  intelligence  activity,  was 
not  defined. 

In  the  absence  of  specific  standards  for  CIA  activity  and  given  the 
susceptibility  of  the  term  "subversion"  to  broad  interpretation,  the 
CIA  conducted  Operation  CHAOS — a  large  scale  intelligence  pro- 
gram involving  the  gathering  of  data  on  thousands  of  Americans  and 
domestic  groups  to  determine  if  they  had  "'subversive  connections" — 
and  illegally  opened  the  mail  of  hundreds  of  thousands  of  Americans. 

Moreover,  the  Act  does  not  define  the  scope  of  the  authority  granted 
to  CIA's  Director  to  protect  intelligence  "sources  and  methods."  ^^ 
This  authority  has  been  broadly  interpreted  to  permit  surveillance  of 
present  and  former  CIA  employees  in  the  United  States  as  well  as 
domestic  groups  thought  to  be  a  threat  to  CIA  installations  in  the 
United  States. 

No  Statute  at  all  deals  with  the  National  Security  Agency.  That 
Agency — one  of  the  largest  of  the  intelligence  agencies — was  created 
by  Executive  Order  in  1952.  Although  NSA's  mission  is  to  obtain 
foreign  intelligence  from  "foreign"  commmiications,  this  has  been 
interpreted  to  permit  NSA  to.  intercept  communications  where  one 
terminal — the  sender  or  receiver — was  in  the  United  States.  Conse- 
quently when  an  American  has  used  telephone  or  telegraph  facilities 
between  this  country  and  overseas,  his  message  has  been  subject  to 
interception  by  NSA.  NSA  obtained  copies  of  millions  of  private 
telegrams  sent  from,  to  or  through  the  United  States  in  its  SHAM- 
ROCK program  and  complied  with  requests  to  target  the  international 
communications  of  specific  Americans  through  the  use  of  a  watch  list. 

In  addition  to  the  failure  of  Congress  to  enact  precise  statutory 
standards,  members  of  Congress  have  put  pressure  on  the  intelligence 
agencies  for  the  collection  of  domestic  intelligence  without  adequate 
regard  to  constitutional  interests.^^  Moreover,  Congress  has  passed 
statutes,  such  as  the  Smith  Act,  which,  although  not  directly  authoriz- 
ing domestic  intelligence  collection,  had  the  effect  of  contributing  to 
the  excessive  collection  of  intelligence  about  Americans. 

Three  functional  policies,  established  by  the  Executive  branch  and 
acquiesced  in  by  Congress,  were  the  basis  for  the  overbreadth  of  in- 
telligence investigations  directed  at  Americans.  These  policies  cen- 
tered on  (1)  so-called  "subversion  investigations"  of  attempts  by 
hostile  foreign  governments  and  their  agents  in  this  country  to  in- 
fluence the  course  of  American  life;  (2)  the  investigation  of  persons 
and  groups  thought  to  have  a  "potential"  for  violating  tlie  law  or 
committing  violence;  and  (3)  the  collection  of  general  intelligence 
on  political  and  social  movements  in  the  interest  of  ])redicting  and 
controlling  civil  disturbances. 

"  National  Security  Intelligence  Directive  No.  5. 

'^50  U.S.C.  403  (d)  (3). 

"  See  Finding  on  Deficiencies  in  Control  and  Accountability,  pp.  277-279. 


Each  of  these  policies  grew  out  of  a  legitimate  concern.  Nazi  Ger- 
many, Japan  and  the  Soviet  Union  mounted  intelligence  efforts  in 
this  country  before  World  War  II ;  and  Soviet  operations  continued 
after  the  war.  In  the  1960s  and  early  1970s,  racist  groups  used  force  to 
deprive  Americans  of  their  civil  rights,  some  American  dissidents 
engaged  in  violence  as  a  form  of  political  protest,  and  there  were 
large-scale  protest  demonstrations  and  major  civil  disorders  in  cities 
stenuning  from  minority  frustrations. 

The  Committee  recognizes  that  the  government  had  a  responsibility 
to  act  in  the  face  of  the  very  real  dangers  presented  by  these  develop- 
ments. But  appropriate  restraints,  controls,  and  prohibitions  on  in- 
telligence collection  were  not  devised ;  distinctions  between  legitimate 
targets  of  investigations  and  innocent  citizens  were  forgotten;  and  the 
Government's  actions  were  never  examined  for  their  effects  on  the  con- 
stitutional rights  of  Americans,  either  when  programs  originated  or 
as  they  continued  over  the  years. 

The  policies  of  investigating  Americans  thought  to  have  a  "po- 
tential" for  violence  and  the  collection  of  general  intelligence  on  po- 
litical and  social  movements  inevitably  resulted  in  the  surveillance  of 
American  citizens  and  domestic  groups  engaged  in  lawful  political 
activity.  ''Subversive"  was  never  defined  in  the  presidential  directives 
from  Presidents  Koosevelt  to  Kennedy  authorizing  FBI  domestic 
intelligence  activity.  Consequently,  "subvereive'"  investigations  did  not 
focus  solely  on  the  activities  of  hostile  foreign  governments  in  this 
country.  Rather,  they  targeted  Americans  Avho  dissented  from  admin- 
istration positions  or  whose  political  positions  were  thought  to  re- 
semble those  of  '"subversive"'  groups.  An  example  of  the  ultimate  re- 
sult of  accepting  the  concept  of  "subversive"  investigations  is  the 
Johnson  "\Miite  House  instruction  to  the  FBI  to  monitor  public  hear- 
ings on  Vietnam  policy  and  compare  the  extent  to  whicli  Senators' 
views  "followed  the  Communist  Party  line."  ^° 

Similarly,  investigations  of  those  thought  to  have  the  "potential" 
for  violating  laws  or  committing  violence  and  the  collection  of  general 
intelligence  to  prepare  for  civil  disturbances  resulted  in  the  surveil- 
lance of  Americans  where  there  was  not  reasonable  suspicion  to  believe 
crime  or  violence  were  likely  to  occur.  Broad  categories  of  American 
society — ^^conservatives,  liberals,  blacks,  women,  young  people  and 
churches — were  targeted  for  intelligence  collection. 

Domestic  intelligence  expanded  to  cover  widespread  political  pro- 
test movements  in  the  late  1960s  and  early  1970s.  For  example,  in 
September  1967,  Attorney  General  Ramsev  Clark  called  for  a  "new 
area  of  investigation  and  intelligence  reporting"  by  the  FBI  regarding 
the  possibility  of  "an  organized  pattern  of  violence"  by  groups  in  the 
"urban  ghetto.'"  He  instructed  FBI  Director  Hoover: 

.  .  .  we  must  make  certain  that  every  attempt  is  being  made 
to  get  all  information  bearing  upon  these  problems ;  to  take 
every  step  possible  to  determine  whether  the  rioting  is  pre- 
planned or  organized. .  . .  As  a  part  of  the  broad  investigation 
which  must  be  conducted  .  .  .  sources  or  informants  in  black 
nationalist  organizations,  SNCC  and  other  less  publicized 
groups  should  be  developed  and  expanded  to  de^tennine  the 

FBI  summary  memorandum,  1/31/75. 


size  and  purpose  of  these  groups  and  their  relationship  to 
other  groups.^ ^ 

Such  instructions  did  not  limit  investigation  to  facts  pointing  to  par- 
ticular criminal  or  violent  activity  but  called  for  intensive  intelligence 
surveillance  of  a  broad  category  of  black  groups  (and  their  connec- 
tions with  other  groups)  to  determine  their  "size  and  purpose." 

Similarly,  the  Army's  broad  domestic  surveillance  program  re- 
flected administration  pressure  on  the  Army  for  information  on  groups 
and  individuals  involved  in  domestic  dissent,^^  ^g  ^  former  Assistant 
Secretary  of  Defense  testified,  the  Army's  sweeping  collection  plan 
"reflected  the  all-encompassing  and  uninhibited  demand  for  informa- 
tion directed  at  the  Department  of  the  Army."  ^^ 

Presidents  Johnson  and  Nixon  subjected  the  CIA  to  intensive 
pressure  to  find  foreign  influence  on  the  domestic  peace  movements, 
resulting  in  the  establishment  of  Operation  CHAOS.-*  Wlien  the 
Nixon  Administration  called  for  an  intensification  of  CIA's  effort, 
the  CIA  was  instructed  to  broaden  its  targeting  criteria  and 
strengthen  its  collection  efforts.  CIA  was  told  that  "foreign  Communist 
support"  should  be  "liberally  construed."  ^^  The  White  House  stated 
further  that  "it  appears  our  present  intelligence  collection  capabilities 
in  this  area  may  be  inadequate"  and  implied  that  any  gaps  in  CIA's 
collection  program  resulting  from  "inadequate  resources  or  a  low 
priority  of  attention"  should  be  corrected.^® 

In  short,  having  abandoned  Attorney  General  Stone's  standard 
that  restricted  Government  investigations  to  "conduct  and  then  only 
such  conduct  as  is  forbidden  by  the  laws  of  the  United  States,"  the 
Government's  far-reaching  domestic  intelligence  policies  inevitably 
produced  investigations  and  surveillance  of  large  numbers  of  law- 
abiding  Americans. 

Sub-finding  (c) 

The  intelligence  agencies  themselves  used  imprecise  and  over-inclu- 
sive criteria  in  their  conduct  of  intelligence  investigations.  Intelligence 
investigations  extended  beyond  "subversive"  or  violent  targets  to 
additional  groups  and  individuals  subject  to  minimal  "subversive  in- 
fluence" or  having  little  or  no  "potential"  for  violence. 

Having  been  given  vague  directions  by  their  superiors  and  sub- 
jected to  substantial  pressure  to  report  on  a  broad  range  of  matters, 
the  intelligence  agencies  themselves  often  established  overinclusive 
targeting  criteria.  The  criteria  followed  in  the  major  domestic  intel- 
ligence programs  conducted  in  the  1960s  and  1970s  illustrate  the 
breadth  of  intelligence  targeting: 

^'■General,  Racial  Matters^\ — The  FBI  gathered  intelligence  about 
proposed  "civil  demonstrations"  and  related  activities  of  "officials, 
committees,  legislatures,  organizations,  etc."  in  the  "racial  field."  ^^ 

^  Memorandum  from  Ramsey  Clark  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  9/14/67. 

°^  See  Military  Surveillance  Report :  Sec.  II  C. 

^Robert  F.  Froehkle  testimony,  Senate  Judiciary  Subcommittee  on  Constitu- 
tional Rights,  1971,  cited  hereinafter  as  1911  Hearings. 

"  See  pp.  99-101. 

"^  Memorandum  from  Tom  Charles  Huston  to  Deputy  Director  of  CIA,  6/20/69. 
p.  1. 

=*  Memorandum  from  Tom  Charles  Huston  to  Deputy  Director  of  CIA,  6/20/69, 
p.  1. 

"^  1964  FBI  Manual  Section  122,  p.  1. 


FBI  Field  Offices  were  directed  to  report  the  "general  programs" 
of  all  "civil  rights  organizations"  and  "readily  available  personal 
background  data"  on  leaders  and  individuals  "in  the  civil  rights 
movement,"  as  well  as  any  "subversive  association"  that  might  be 
recorded  in  Field  Office  files.^*  In  addition,  the  FBI  reported  "the 
objectives  sought  by  the  minority  community."  ^^ 

These  broad  criteria  were  also  reflected  in  the  FBI's  targeting  of 
"white  militant  groups"  in  the  reporting  of  racial  matters.  Those  who 
were  "known  to  sponsor  demonstrations  against  integration  and 
against  the  busing  of  Negro  students  to  white  schools"  were  to  be 

'''•New  Leff''  IntelUgeiice. — In  conducting  a  "comprehensive  study  of 
the  whole  New  Left  movement"  (rather  than  investigating  particular 
violations  of  law) ,  the  FBI  defined  its  intelligence  target  as  a  "loosely- 
bound,  free-wheeling,  college-oriented  movement."  ^^  Organizations  to 
be  investigated  were  those  who  fit  criteria  phrased  as  the  "more  extreme 
and  militant  anti-Vietnam  war  and  antidraft  organizations."  ^- 

The  use  of  such  imprecise  criteria  resulted  in  investigations  of  such 
matters  as  (1)  two  university  instructors  who  helped  support  a  student 
newspaper  whose  editorial  policy  was  described  by  the  FBI  as  "left- 
of-center,  antiestablishment,  and  opposed  to  the  University  Admin- 
istration"; ^^  (2)  a  dissident  stockholder's  group  planning  to  protest 
a  large  corporation's  war  production  at  the  annual  stockholder's  meet- 
ing; ^*  and  (3)  "Free  Univei-sities"  attached  to  college  campuses, 
whether  or  not  there  were  facts  indicating  any  actual  or  potential 
violation  of  law.^^ 

'"'"Rahh'le  Rouser'^  Index. — Beginning  in  August  1967,  the  FBI  con- 
ducted intensive  intelligence  investigations  of  individuals  identified 
as  "rabble  rousers.''  The  program  was  begun  after  a  member  of  the 
National  Advisoiy  Commission  on  Civil  Disorders  asked  the  FBI  at 
a  meeting  of  the  Commission  "to  identify  the  number  of  militant 
Negroes  and  Whites."  ^^  This  vague  reference  was  subsequently  used 
by  the  FBI  as  the  basis  for  instructions  implementing  a  broad  new 
program:  persons  were  to  be  investigated  and  placed  on  the  "rabble 
rouser"  index  who  were  "racial  agitators  who  have  demonstrated  a 
potential  for  fomenting  racial  discord."  ^' 

Ultimately,  a  "rabble  rouser"  was  defined  as : 

A  person  who  tries  to  arouse  people  to  violent  action  by 
appealing  to  their  emotions,  prejudices,  et  cetera;  a 

Thus,  rather  than  collecting  information  on  those  who  had  or  were 
likely  to  commit  criminal  or  violent  acts,  a  major  intelligence  program 
was  launched  to  identify  "demagogues." 

^  FBI  Manual,  Section  122,  revised  12/13/66,  p.  8-9. 
^'  FBI  Manual,  Section  122,  revised  12/13/66,  p.  8-9. 
™  SAC  Letter,  68-25,  4/30/68. 

"'  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs,  10/28/68. 
"^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs  10/28/68. 
*'  Memorandum  from  Mobile  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters.  12/9/70. 
^*  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Minneapolis  Field  Office,  4/23/70. 
^  Memorandum  from  Detroit  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  4/15/66. 
""  Memorandum  from  Cartha  Del^ach  to  Clyde  Tolson.  8/1/67. 
'^  Memorandum  from  Charles  Brennan  to  William  Sullivan,  8/3/67 ;  SAC  Letter 
67-56,  9/12/67. 

^  SAC  Letter  No.  67-70,  11/28/67. 


Army  Domestic  Surveillance  of  '"'' Dissidents.'''' — Extremely  broad 
criteria  were  used  in  the  Army's  nationwide  surveillance  program 
conducted  in  the  late  1960s.  Such  general  terms  as  "the  civil  rights 
movement"  and  the  "anti-Vietnam/anti-draft  movements"  were  used 
to  indicate  targets  for  investigation.^^  In  collecting  information  on 
these  "movements"  and  on  the  "cause  of  civil  disturbances,"  Army 
intelligence  was  to  investigate  "instigators,"  "group  participants," 
and  "subversive  elements" — all  undefined. 

Under  later  revisions,  the  Army  collection  plan  extended  even  be- 
yond "subversion"  and  "dissident  groups"  to  "prominent  persons" 
who  were  "friendly"  with  the  "leaders  of  the  distur'bance"  or  "sjnu- 
pathetic  with  their  plans."  ^° 

These  imprecise  crtieria  led  to  the  creation  of  intelligence  files  on 
nearly  100,000  Americans,  including  Dr.  Martin  Luther  King,  Major 
General  Edwin  Walker,  Julian  Bond,  Joan  Baez,  Dr.  Benjamin 
Spock,  Rev.  William  Sloane  Coffin,  Congressman  Abner  Mikva,  Sen- 
ator Adlai  Stevenson  III,*^  as  well  as  clergymen,  teachers,  journalists, 
editors,  attorneys,  industrialists,  a  laborer,  a  construction  worker,  rail- 
road engineers,  a  postal  clerk,  a  taxi  driver,  a  chiropractor,  a  doctor,  a 
chemist,  an  economist,  a  historian,  a  playwright,  an  accountant,  an 
entertainer,  professors,  a  radio  announcer,  athletes,  business  executives 
and  authors — all  of  whom  became  subjects  of  Army  files  simply  because 
of  their  participation  in  political  protests  or  their  association  with 
those  who  were  engaged  in  such  political  activity.*^ 

The  IRS  Computerized  Intelligence  Index. — In  1973,  IRS  estab- 
lished a  central  computer  index — the  "Intelligence  Gathering  and 
Retrieval  System" — for  general  intelligence  data,  much  of  it  unrelated 
to  tax  law  enforcement.  More  than  465,000  Americans  were  indexed  in 
the  IRS  computer  system,  including  J.  Edgar  Hoover  and  the  IRS 
Commissioner,  as  well  as  thousands  of  others  also  not  suspected  of  tax 
violation.  Names  in  newspaper  articles  and  other  published  sources 
were  indexed  wholesale  into  the  IRS  computer.  Under  the  system,  in- 
telligence gathering  preceded  any  specific  allegation  of  a  violation, 
and  i^ossible  "future  value"  was  the  sole  criterion  for  inclusion  of 
information  into  the  Intelligence  Gathering  and  Retrieval  System. 

CI  A'' 8  Operation  CHAOS. — In  seeking  to  fulfill  Wliite  House  re- 
quests for  evidence  of  foreign  influence  on  domestic  dissent,  the  CIA 
gave  broad  instructions  to  its  overseas  stations.  These  directives  called 
for  reporting  on  the  "Radical  Left"  which  included,  according  to  the 
CIA,  "radical  students,  antiwar  activitists,  draft  resisters  and  desert- 
ers, black  nationalists,  anarchists,  and  assorted  'New  Leftists'."  *^ 
CIA  built  its  huge  CHAOS  data  base  on  the  assumption  that  to  know 
whether  there  was  significant  foreign  involvement  in  a  domestic  grouj) 
"one  has  to  know  whether  each  and  every  one  of  these  persons  has  any 
connection  to  foreigners."  **  CIA  instructed  its  stations  that  even 
"casual  contacts  based  merely  on  mutual  interest"  between  Americans 
opposed  to  the  Vietnam  war  and  "foreign  elements"  were  deemed  to 

^  1911  Hearings,  pp.  1120-1121. 

'"  1911  Hearings,  pp.  1123-1138. 

*J  Stein  testimony,  1911  Hearings,  p.  266. 

^^  "Military  Surveillance  of  Civilian  Politics,"  Senate  Judiciary  Subcommittee 
on  Constitutional  Rights  Report,  1973,  p.  57,  cited  hereafter  as  1913  Report. 

^  Book  Cable  from  Thomas  Karamessines  to  various  European  Stations,  June 

■"Richard  Ober  testimony,  Rockefeller  Commission,  3/28/75,  pp.  88-89. 


"casual  contacts  based  merely  on  mutual  interest"  between  Americans 
opposed  to  the  Vietnam  war  and  "foreign  elements"  were  deemed  to 
constitute  "subversive  connections."  '^^  Similarly,  CIA's  request  to  NSA 
for  materials  on  persons  targeted  by  the  NSA  Watch  List  called  for 
all  information  regardless  of  how  innocuous  it  may  seem."  **^ 

The  Committee's  investigation  has  shown  that  the  absence  of  precise 
statutory  standards  and  the  use  of  overbroad  criteria  for  domestic 
intelligence  activity  rcvsulted  in  the  extension  of  intelligence  investiga- 
tions beyond  their  oiiginal  "subversive"  or  violent  targets.  Intelligence 
investigations  extended  to  those  thought  to  be  subject  to  "subversive 
influence."  INIoreover,  those  thought  to  have  a  "potential"  for  violence 
were  also  targeted  and,  in  some  cases,  investigations  extended  even 
to  those  engaged  in  wholly  non-violent  lawful  political  expression. 

FBI  ''COMINF/r\Investigafwns.— Vnd&Y  the  FBI's  COMINFIL 
("communist  infiltration")  program,  large  njumbers  of  groups  and 
individuals  engaged  in  lawful  political  activity  have  been  subjected 
to  informant  coverage  and  intelligence  scin^itiny.  Although  COMIN 
FIL  investigations  were  supposed  to  focus  on  the  Communist  Party's 
alleged  efforts  to  penetrate  domestic  groups,  in  practice  the  target 
often  became  the  domestic  groups  themselves. 

FBI  COMINFIL  investigations  reached  into  domestic  groups  in 
virtually  every  area  of  American  political  life.  The  FBI  conducted 
COMIXFIL  investigations  in  such  areas  as  "religion."  "education," 
"veterans'  mattere,"  "women's  matters,"  "Negro  question,''  and  "cul- 
tural activities."  *"  The  "entire  spectrum  of  the  social  and  labor  move- 
ment" was  covered.'** 

The  overbreadth  that  results  from  the  practice  of  investigating 
groups  for  indications  of  communist  influence  or  infiltration  is  illus- 
trated by  the  following  FBI  COMIN  FIL  intelligence  investigations: 

N A AOP.— An  intensive  25  year  long  surveillance  of  the  NAACP 
was  conducted,  ostensibly  to  determine  whether  there  was  Communist 
infiltration  of  the  NAACP.  This  surveillance,  however,  produced 
detailed  intelligence  reports  on  NAACP  activities  wholly  unrelated 
to  any  alleged  communist  "attempts"  to  infiltrate  the  NAACP, 
and  despite  the  fact  that  no  evidence  was  ever  found  to  contradict  the 
FBI's  initial  finding  that  the  NAACP  was  opposed  to  communism.*^^ 

Northern  Virginia  Citizens  Concerned  About  the  ABM. — In  1969, 
the  FBI  conducted  an  intelligence  investigation  and  used  informants 
to  report  on  a  meeting  held  in  a  ])ublic  high  school  auditorium  at  which 
the  merits  of  the  Anti-Ballistic  Missile  System  were  debated  by, 
among  others,  Department  of  Defense  officials.  The  investigation  was 
apparently  opened  because  a  communist  newspaper  had  commented 
on  the  fact  that  the  meeting  was  to  be  held.*^ 

National  Conference  on  Amnesty  for  Vietnam  Veterans. — In  1974, 
FBT  informants  reported  on   a  national   conference  sponsored  by 

^  Cal)le  from  CIA  Headquarters  to  field  stations,  November  1967,  pp.  1-2. 

**  Memorandum  from  Richard  Ober  to  NSA,  9/14/71. 

"  1960  FBI  Manual,  Section  87,  pp.  5-11. 

"  Annual  Report  of  the  Attorney  General  for  Fiscal  Year  1955.  p.  195. 

***  See  History  of  Domestic  Intelligence,  Report,  Part  II  at  note  139. 

"James  Adams  testimony,  11/19/75,  Hearings.  Vol.  6.  pp.  137-138.  FBI  docu- 
ments indicate  that  another  factor  in  the  opening  of  the  investigation  was  the 
role  of  the  wife  of  a  Communist  in  assisting  in  publicity  work  for  the  meeting. 
(Memorandum  from  Washington  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters.  5/28/69: 
memorandum  from  Alexandria  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters.  6/3/69)  See 
Findings  6(a),  p.  10.  for  the  broad  dissemination  of  reports  that  resulted  from 
this  inquiry. 


church  and  civil  liberties  groups  to  support  amnesty  for  Vietnam  vet- 
erans. The  investigation  was  based  on  a  two-step  "infiltration"  theory. 
Other  informants  had  reported  that  the  A^ietnam  Veterans  Against 
the  War  (which  was  itself  the  subject  of  an  intelligence  investigation 
because  it  was  thought  to  be  subject  to  communist  or  foreign  influence) 
mighty  try  to  "control"  the  conference.°°  Although  the  conference  was 
thus  twice  removed  from  the  original  target,  it  was  nevertheless  sub- 
jected to  informant  surveillance. 

FBI  intelligence  investigations  to  find  whether  groups  are  sub- 
ject to  communist  or  "subversive"  influence  result  in  the  collection 
of  information  on  groups  and  individuals  engaged  in  wholly  legiti- 
mate activity.  Eeports  on  the  NAACP  were  not  limited  to  alleged  com- 
munist infiltration.  Similarly,  the  investigation  of  the  National  Am- 
nesty Conference  produced  reports  describing  the  topics  discussed  at 
the  conference  and  the  organization  of  a  steering  committee  which 
would  include  families  of  men  killed  in  Vietnam  and  congressional 
staff  aicles.^^  The  reports  on  the  meeting  concerning  the  AB^I  system 
covered  the  past  and  present  residence  of  the  person  who  applied  to 
rent  the  high  school  auditorium,  and  plans  for  a  future  meeting,  in- 
cluding the  names  of  prominent  political  figures  who  planned  to 

The  trigger  for  COMINFIL-type  investigations — that  subversive 
"attempts"  to  infiltrate  groups  were  a  substantial  threat — was  great- 
ly exaggerated.  According  to  the  testimony  of  FBI  officials,  the 
mention  in  a  communist  newspaper  of  the  citizens'  meeting  to  de- 
bate the  ABM  was  sufficient  to  produce  intelligence  coverage  of  that 
meeting.^^  A  large  public  teach-in  on  Vietnam,  including  representa- 
tives of  Catholic,  Episcopal,  Methodist  and  Unitarian  churches,  as 
well  as  a  number  of  spokesmen  for  antiwar  groups,  was  investigated 
because  a  Communist  Party  official  had  "urged"  party  membei's  to 
attend  and  one  speaker  representing  the  W.  E.  B.  DuBois  Club  was 
identified  as  a  communist.'^'*  The  FBI  surveillance  of  the  teach-in  re- 
sulted in  a  41 -page  intelligence  report  based  on  coverage  by  13  in- 
formants and  sources.^^  And  the  FBI's  investigation  of  all  Free  Uni- 
versities near  colleges  and  universities  was  undertaken  because  "sev- 
eral" allegedly  had  been  formed  by  the  Communist  Party  "and  other 
subversive  groups."  ^^ 

Similarly,  the  FBI's  broad  COMIXFIL  investigations  of  the  civil 
rights  movement  in  the  South  were  based  on  the  FBI's  conclusion  that 
the  Communist  Party  had  '''•  attemyted/''  to  take  advantage  of  racial  un- 
rest and  had  '"'' endeavored''''  to  pressure  U.S.  Government  officials 
"through  the  press,  labor  unions  and  student  groups."  "  [Emphasis 

'•'''  Raymond  W.  Wannall  testimony,  12/2/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  139. 

"  Memorandum  from  Louisville  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  11/21/74. 

^  Memoranda  from  Alexandria  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  6/5/69. 

''  Adams,  11/19/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  138. 

°^  Memorandum  from  Philadelphia  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  3/2/66. 

^  Memorandum  from  Philadelphia  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters.  3/2/66. 

°\  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Detroit  Field  Office,  2/17/66. 

"'  Memorandum  from  .1.  Edgar  Hoover,  Chairman,  Interdepartmental  Intelli- 
gence Conference,  to  McGeorge  Bundy,  Special  Assistant  to  the  President  for  Na- 
tional Security.  7/25/61,  enclosing  IIC  Report.  Status  of  U.S.  Internal  Secu- 
rity Programs.  See  Findings  on  Political  Abuse,  p.  225  for  discussion  on  the  larger 
impact  of  such  FBI  terminology. 


supplied.]  No  mention  was  made  of  the  general  failure  of  these 

The  Committee  finds  that  COMINFIL  investigations  have  been 
based  on  an  exaggerated  notion  of  the  threat  posed  by  "subversives" 
and  foreign  influence  on  American  political  expression.  There  has  been 
an  unjustified  belief  that  Americans  need  informants  and  government 
surveillance  to  protect  them  from  "subversive"  influence  in  their 
unions,  churches,  schools,  parties  and  political  efforts. 

Investigations  of  Wholly  Non-Violent  Political  Expression. — Do- 
mestic intelligence  investigations  have  extended  from  those  who  com- 
mit or  are  likely  to  commit  violent  acts  to  those  thought  to  have  a  "po- 
tential" for  violence,  and  then  to  those  engaged  in  purely  peaceful 
political  expression.  This  characteristic  was  graphically  described  by 
the  White  House  official  who  coordinated  the  intelligence  agencies' 
recommendations  for  "expanded"  (and  illegal)  coverage  in  1970.  He 
testified  that  intelligence  investigations  risked  moving 

from  the  kid  with  a  bomb  to  the  kid  with  a  picket  sign,  and 
from  the  kid  Avith  the  picket  sign  to  the  kid  with  the  bumper 
sticker  of  the  opposing  candidate.  And  you  just  keep  going 
down  the  line.^^ 

AVithout  precjise  standards  to  restrict  their  scope,  intelligence  inves- 
tigations did  move  beyond  those  who  committed  or  were  likely  to 
commit  criminal  or  violent  acts.  For  example  : 

— Dr.  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr.,  was  targeted  for  the  FBI's  COIN 
TELPRO  operations  against  "Black  Nationalist-Hate  Groups"  on  the 
theory,  without  factual  justification,  that  Dr.  King  might  "abandon" 
his  adherence  to  nonviolence.^^ 

— The  intensive  FBI  investigation  of  the  Women's  Liberation 
Movement  w-as  similarly  predicated  on  the  theory  that  the  activities 
of  women  in  that  JMovement  might  lead  to  demonstrations  and 
violence. "^^ 

— ^The  FBI  investigations  of  Black  Student  L  iiions  proceeded  from 
the  concern  of  the  FBI  and  its  superiors  over  violence  in  the  cities.  Yet 
the  FBI  opened  intelligence  investigations  on  "every  Black  Student 
Union  and  similar  group  regardless  of  their  jyast  or  jwesent  involve- 
ment in  cZ/so/rZe/'s."  ^^  [Emphasis  added.] 

— The  nationwide  Army  Intelligence  surveillance  of  civilians  was 
conducted  in  connection  with  civil  disorders.  However,  the  Army  col- 
lection plan  focused  not  merely  on  those  likely  to  commit  A'iolence  but 
was  "so  comprehensive  .  .  .  that  any  category  of  information  related 
even  remcitely  to  people  or  organizations  actiAc  in  a  community  in 
which  the  potential  for  violence  was  present  would  fall  within  their 
scope."  *'- 

The  Committee  finds  that  such  intelligence  surveillance  of  groups 
and  individuals  has  greatly  exceeded  the  legitimate  interest  of  the 
government  in  law  enforcement  and  the  prevention  of  violence.  Where 
unsupported  determinations  as  to  "potential"  behavior  are  the  basis  for 

^'^  Tom  Charles  Huston  testimony,  9/23/7.5,  Hearings,  Vol.  2,  p.  45. 
59  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SAC's,  3/4/68. 
''"Memorandum  from  New  York  Field  OflSce  to  FBI  Headquarters,  5/28/69. 
(Hearings,  Vol.  6,  Exhibit  .54.) 
"^  Memorandum  from  Executives  Conference  to  Tolson,  10/29/70. 
^  Froehlke,  1911  Hearings,  p.  384. 

68-786  O  -  76  -  13 


surveillance   of  groups  and   individuals,  no  one  is  safe   from  the 
inquisitive  eye  of  the  intelligence  agency. 

Sub  fundings  (d) 

Intelligence  agencies  pursued  a  "vacuum  cleaner"  approach  to  in- 
telligence collection — drawing  in  all  available  information  about 
groups  and  individuals,  including  their  lawful  political  activity  and 
details  of  their  personal  lives. 

Intelligence  agencies  collect  an  excessive  amomit  of  information  by 
pursuing  a  "vacuum  cleaner"  approach  that  draws  in  all  available 
information,  including  lawful  political  activity,  personal  matters, 
and  trivia.  Even  where  the  theory  of  the  investigation  is  that  the  sub- 
ject is  likely  to  be  engaged  in  criminal  or  violent  activity,  the  over- 
broad approach  to  intelligence  collection  intrudes  into  personal  matters 
unrelated  to  such  criminal  or  violent  activity. 

FBI  officials  conceded  to  the  Committee  that  in  conducting  broad 
intelligence  investigations  to  determine  the  "real  purpose"  of  an  or- 
ganization, they  sometimes  gathered  "too  much  information."  ^^ 

The  FBI's  intelligence  investigation  of  the  "New  Left,"  for  example, 
was  directed  towards  a  "comprehensive  study  of  the  whole  movement" 
and  produced  intensive  monitoring  of  such  subjects  as  "support  of 
movement  by  religious  groups  or  individuals,"  "demonstrations  aimed 
at  social  reform,"  "indications  of  support  by  mass  media,"  "all  activity 
in  the  labor  field,"  and  "efforts  to  influence  public  opinion,  the  elec- 
torate and  Government  bodies."  '^* 

Similar  overbreadth  characterized  the  FBI's  collection  of  intelli- 
gence on  "white  militant  groups."  In  1968  FBI  field  offices  were  in- 
structed not  to  gather  information  solely  on  actual  or  potential 
violations  of  law  or  violence,  but  to  use  informants  to  determine  the 
"aims  and  purposes  of  the  organization,  its  leaders,  approximate 
membership"  and  other  "background  data"  relating  to  the  group's 
"militancy."  ^^  In  1971  the  criteria  for  investigating  individuals  were 
widened.  Special  Agents  in  Charge  of  FBI  field  offices  were  instructed 
to  investigate  not  only  persons  with  "a  potential  for  violence,"  but 
also  anyone  else  "who  in  judgment  of  SAC  should  be  subject  of  investi- 
gation due  to  extremist  activities."  ^^ 

Even  in  searching  for  indications  of  potential  violence  in  black 
urban  areas  or  in  collecting  information  about  violence-prone  Ku 
Klux  Klan  chapters,  there  was  marked  overbreadth.  In  black  urban 
areas,  for  example,  FBI  agents  were  instructed  to  have  their  inform- 
ants obtain  the  names  of  "Afro- American  type  bookstores"  and  their 
"owners,  operators  and  clientele."  *^^  The  activities  of  civil  rights  and 
black  groups  as  well  as  details  of  the  personal  lives  of  Klan  members, 
were  reported  on  by  an  FBI  intelligence  informant  in  the  Ku  Klux 
Klan.*'"'*  Under  this  approach,  the  average  citizen  who  merely  attends 
a  meeting,  signs  a  petition,  is  placed  on  a  mailing  list,  or  visits  a  book 
store,  is  subject  to  being  recorded  in  intelligence  files. 

A  striking  example  of  informant  reporting  on  all  the}^  touch  was 
provided  by  an  FBI  informant  in  an  antiwar  group  with  only  55 

*'^  Adams,  12/2/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  135. 

'*  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs,  10/28/68. 

"'  SAC  Letter  68-25,  4/30/68. 

'"  1971  Manual.  Section  122. 

^''  Memorandum  from  Philadelphia  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  8/12/68. 

^'*  Rowe,  12/2/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6.  p.  116. 


regulai'  members  and  some  250  persons  who  gave  occasional  support. 
The  informant  estimated  she  reported  nearly  1,000  names  to  the  FBI 
in  an  18-month  period — 60-70  percent  of  whom  were  members  of  other 
groups  (such  as  the  United  Church  of  Christ  and  the  American  Civil 
Liberties  Union)  which  were  engaging  in  peaceful,  lawful  political 
activity  together  with  the  antiwar  group  or  who  were  on  the  group's 
mailing  list.^^  Similarly  in  the  intelligence  investigation  of  the 
Women's  Liberation  Movement,  informants  reported  the  identities 
of  individual  women  attending  meetings  (as  well  as  reporting  such 
matters  as  the  fact  that  women  at  meetings  had  stated  '"how  they  felt 
oppressed,  sexually  or  otherwise.")  .^^ 

Such  collection  of  "intelligence"  unrelated  to  specific  criminal  or 
violent  activity  constitutes  a  serious  misuse  of  governmental  power. 
In  reaching  into  the  private  lives  of  individuals  and  monitoring  their 
lawful  political  activity — ^matters  irrelevant  to  any  proper  govern- 
mental interest — domestic  intelligence  collection  has  been  unreasonably 

Subfrnding  (e) 

Intelligence  investigations  in  many  cases  continued  for  excessively 
long  periods  of  time,  resulting  in  sustained  governmental  monitoring 
of  political  activity  in  the  absence  of  any  indication  of  criminal  con- 
duct or  "subversion." 

One  of  the  most  disturbing  aspects  of  domestic  intelligence  inves- 
tigations found  by  the  Committee  was  their  excessive  length.  Intel- 
ligence investigations  often  continued,  despite  the  absence  of  facts  in- 
dicating an  individual  or  group  is  violating  or  is  likely  to  violate  the 
law,  resulting  in  long-term  government  monitoring  of  lawful  political 
activity.  The  following  are  examples : 

(i)  The  FBI  InteJligem-e  Investigation  of  the  NAACP  {19Ifl- 
1966). — The  investigation  of  the  NAACP  began  in  1941  and  continued 
for  at  least  25  years.  Initiated  according  to  one  FBI  report  as  an 
investigation  of  protests  by  15  black  mess  attendants  about  racial 
discrimination  in  the  Navy,^°  the  investigation  expanded  to  encompass 
XAACP  chapters  in  cities  across  the  nation.  Although  the  ostensible 
purpose  of  this  investigation  was  to  determine  if  there  Avas  "Com- 
munist infiltration"  of  the  NAACP,  the  investigation  constituted  a 
long-term  monitoring  of  the  N  AACP's  wholly  lawful  political  activity 
by  FBI  informants.  Thus : 

—The  FBI  New  York  Field  Office  submitted  a  137-page  report  to 
FBI  headquarters  describing  the  national  office  of  the  NAACP,  its 
national  convention,  its  growth  and  membership,  its  officers  and  di- 
rectors, and  its  stand  against  Communism.' ^ 

—An  FBI  informant  in  Seattle  obtained  a  list  of  NAACP  branch 
officers  and  reported  on  a  meeting  where  signatures  were  gathered  on  a 
"petition  directed  to  President  Eisenhower"  and  plans  for  two  mem- 
bers to  go  to  Washington,  D.C.,  for  a  "Prayer  Pilgrimage."  " - 

'^  Mary  .To  Cook  testimony,  12/2/75.  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  pp.  112,  120. 

*^  Memorandum  from  Kansas  City  Field  Office,  10/20/70 ;  memorandum  New 
York  Field  Office,  o/28/69 ;  memorandum  from  Baltimore  Field  Office,  .5/11/70  to 
FBI  Headquarters.  CIA  agents  in  the  United  States  also  reiwrted  on  Women's 
Liberation  activities  in  the  course  of  their  preparation  for  overseas  duty  in 
Operation  CHAOS.   (Agent  1.  Contact  Report.  Vol.  II,  Agent  1  file.) 

™  Memorandum  from  Washington  Field  Office  to  FBI  headquarters,  3/11/41. 

■^Memorandum  from  New  York  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  2/12/57. 

'^Memorandum  from  Seattle  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  6/1/57. 


— In  1966,  the  New  York  Field  Office  reported  the  names  of  all 
NAACP  national  officers  and  board  members,  and  summarized  their 
political  associations  as  far  back  as  the  1940s.^^ 

— As  late  as  1966,  the  FBI  was  obtaining  NAACP  chapter  member- 
ship figTires  by  "pretext  telephone  call . . .  utilizing  the  pretext  of  being 
interested  in  joining  that  branch  of  the  NAACP."  '^ 

— Based  on  the  reports  of  FBI  informants,  the  FBI  submitted  a 
detailed  report  of  a  1956  NAACP-sponsored  Leadership  Conference  on 
Civil  Rights  and  described  plans  for  a  Conference  delegation  to  visit 
Senators  Paul  Douglas,  Herbert  Lehman,  Wayne  Morse,  Hubert 
Humphrey,  and  John  Bricker."^  Later  reports  covered  what  transpired 
at  several  of  these  meetings  with  Senators.'*'  Most  significantly,  all 
these  reports  were  sent  to  the  White  House. "^ 

(ii)  The  FBI  Intelligence  Investigation  of  the  Socialist  Worker's 
Party  (1940  to  date).— The  FBI  has  investigated  the  Socialist  Work- 
ers Party  (SWP)  from  1940  to  the  present  day  on  the  basis  of  that 
Party's  revolutionary  rhetoric  and  alleged  international  links.  Never- 
theless, FBI  officials  testified  that  the  SWP  has  not  been  responsible  for 
any  violent  acts  nor  has  it  urged  actions  constituting  an  indictable 
incitement  to  violence." ^^ 

FBI  informants  have  been  reporting  the  political  positions  taken 
by  the  SWP  with  respect  to  such  issues  as  the  "Vietnam  War,"  "racial 
matters,"  "U.S.  involvement  in  Angola,"  "food  prices,"  and  any  SWP 
efforts  to  support  a  non-SWP  candidate  for  political  office.'^ 

Moreover,  to  enable  the  FBI  to  develop  "background  information" 
on  SWP  leaders,  informants  have  been  reporting  certain  personal 
aspects  of  their  lives,  such  as  marital  status. '^^  The  informants  also 
have  been  reporting  on  SWP  cooperation  with  other  groups  who  are 
not  the  subject  of  separate  intelligence  investigations.^" 

(iii)  The  Effort  to  Prove  Negatives. — Intelligence  investigations 
and  programs  have  also  continued  for  excessively  long  periods  in  ef- 
forts to  prove  negatives.  CIA's  Operation  CHAOS  began  in  1967. 
From  that  year  until  the  program's  termination  in  1974,^^  the  CIA 
repeatedly  reached  formal  conclusions  that  there  was  negligible  for- 
eign influence  on  domestic  protest  activity.  In  1967,  the  CIA  concluded 
that  Communist  front  groups  did  not  control  student  organizations 
and  that  there  were  no  significant  links  with  foreign  radicals ;  ^^  in 
1968,  the  CTA  concluded  that  U.S.  student  protest  was  essentially 
homegrown  and  not  stimulated  by  an  international  conspiracy ;  ®^  and 
in  1971  the  CIA  found  "there  is  no  evidence  that  foreign  governments, 
organizations,  or  intelligence  services  now  control  LLS.  New  Left 

''^Memorandum  from  New  York  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters.  4/15/65. 

''*  Memorandum  from  Los  Angeles  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  4/15/66. 

''  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Anderson,  3/5/56. 

^*  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Anderson,  3/6/56. 

"  See  Findings  on  "Political  Abuse." 

'^^  Robert  Shackelford  testimony,  2/2/76 ;  pp.  89-90. 

'"  Shackelford,  2/2/76,  p.  89. 

'"  Shackelford,  2/2/76 ;  p.  90. 

^  Shackleford,  2/2/76.  p.  92. 

^  See  Findings,  "Deficiencies  in  Control  and  Accountability",  p.  265. 

*^  CIA  memorandum,  "Student  Dissent  and  Its  Techniques  in  the  U.S.",  1/5/68. 

**CIA  Report,  "Restless  Youth,"  Conclusions,  p.  1,  9/4/68. 


Movements  .  .  .  the  U.S.  Nevv  Left  is  basically  self-sufficient  and  moves 
under  its  own  impetus."  ** 

The  result  of  these  repeated  findings  was  not  the  termination  of 
chaos's  surveillance  of  Americans,  but  its  redoublinir.  Presidents 
Johnson  and  Nixon  pressured  the  CIA  to  intensify  its  intelligence  ef- 
fort to  find  evidence  of  foreign  direction  of  the  U.S.  peace  movement. 
As  Director  Helms  testified  : 

When  a  President  keeps  asking  if  there  is  any  information, 
"how  are  you  getting  along  with  your  examination,''  "have 
you  picked  up  any  more  information  on  this  subject,"  it  isn't 
a  direct  order  to  do  something,  but  it  seems  to  me  it  behooves 
the  Director  of  Central  Intelligence  to  find  some  way  to  im- 
prove his  performance,  or  improve  his  Agency's  perform- 

In  an  effort  to  prove  its  negative  finding  to  a  skeptical  White  House — 
and  to  test  its  validity  each  succeeding  year — CIA  expanded  its  pro- 
gram, increasing  its  coverage  of  Americans  overseas  and  building 
an  ever  larger  "data  base"  on  domestic  political  activity.  Intelligence 
was  exchanged  with  the  FBI,  NSA,  and  other  agencies,  and  even- 
tually CIA  agents  Avho  had  infiltrated  domestic  organizations  for 
other  purposes  supplied  general  information  on  the  groups'  activi- 
ties.*^ Thus,  the  intelligence  mission  became  one  of  continued  surveil- 
lance to  prove  a  negative,  wdth  no  thought  to  terminating  the  pro- 
gram in  the  face  of  the  negative  findings. 

As  in  the  CHAOS  operation,  FBI  intelligence  investigations  have 
often  continued  even  in  the  absence  of  any  evidence  of  "subversive" 
activities  merely  because  the  subjects  of  the  investigation  have  not 
demonstrated  their  innocence  to  the  FBI's  satisfaction.  The  long- 
term  investigations  of  the  NAACP  and  the  Socialist  Workere  Party 
described  above  are  typical  examples. 

A  striking  illustration  of  FBI  practice  is  provided  by  the  intelli- 
gence investigation  of  an  advisor  of  Dr.  ]Martin  Luther  King,  Jr.  The 
advisor  was  investigated  on  the  theory  that  he  might  be  a  commu- 
nist "sympathizer."  The  Bureau's  New  York  office  concluded  he  was 
not.*^  Using  a  theory  of  "guilty  until  proven  innocent,"  FBI  head- 
quarters directed  that  the  investigation  continue : 

The  Bureau  does  not  agree  with  the  expressed  belief  of  the 
New  York  office  that  [  ]^^  is  not  sympathetic  to  the 

Party  cause.  While  thei'e  may  not  be  any  evidence  that  [  ] 
is  a  Communist  neither  is  there  any  substantial  evidence  that 
he  is  anti-Communist.®^ 

^  CIA  Report,  "Definition  and  Assessment  of  Existing  Internal  Security 
Threat— Foreign,"  1/5/71,  pp.  1-3. 

^^  Richard  Helms  testimony,  Rockfeller  Commission,  4/28/75.  pp.  2434-2435. 
Helms  further  testified  :  "President  .Tohnson  was  after  this  all  the  time  .  .  .  this 
was  something  that  came  up  almost  daily  and  weekly."  Helms,  Rockefeller  Com- 
mission, 1/13/75,  pp.  163-164. 

*  See  CHAOS  Report :  Section  II  D,  "Oiierations  of  the  CHAOS  Program  and 
Related  CIA  Projects,"  and  II  E.  "1969  Expansion  of  CHAOS." 

*'  Memorandum  from  New  York  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  4/14/64. 

^  Name  deleted  by  Committee  to  protect  privacy. 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  New  York  Field  Office,  4/24/64. 


Where  citizens  must  demonstrate  not  simply  that  they  have  no 
connection  with  an  intelligence  target,  but  must  exhibit  "substantial 
evidence"  that  they  are  in  opposition  to  the  target,  intelligence  in- 
vestigations are  indeed  open-ended. 


Major  Finding 

The  intelligenc©  community  has  employed  surreptitious  collection 
tecliniques — mail  opening,  surreptitious  entries,  informants,  and 
"traditional"  and  highly  sophisticated  forms  of  electronic  sum'eil- 
lance — to  achieve  its  overly  broad  intelligence  targeting  and  collec- 
tion objectiA-es.  Although  there  are  circumstances  where  these  tech- 
niques, if  properly  controlled,  are  legal  and  appropriate,  the  Committee 
finds  that  their  very  nature  makes  them  a  threat  to  the  personal 
privacy  and  Constitutionally  protected  activities  of  both  the  targets 
and  of  persons  who  communicate  with  or  associate  with  the  targets. 
The  dangers  inherent  in  the  use  of  these  techniques  have  been  com- 
pounded by  the  lack  of  adequate  standards  limiting  their  use  and  by 
the  absence  of  review  by  neutral  authorities  outside  the  intelligence 
agencies.  As  a  consequence,  these  techniques  have  collected  enormous 
amounts  of  personal  and  political  information  serving  no  legitimate 
governmental  interest. 

Suh  findings 

(a)  Given  the  highly  intrusive  nature  of  these  techniques/  the  legal 
standards  and  procedures  regulating  their  use  have  been  insufficient. 
There  have  been  no  statutory  controls  on  the  use  of  informants;  there 
have  been  gaps  and  exceptions  in  the  law  of  electronic  surveil- 
lance; and  the  legal  prohibitions  against  warrantless  mail  opening  and 
surreptitious  entries  have  been  ignored. 

(b)  In  addition  to  providing  the  means  by  which  the  Government 
can  collect  too  much  information  about  too  many  people,  certain 
techniques  have  their  own  peculiar  dangers : 

(i)  Informants  have  provoked  and  participated  in  violence  and 
other  illegal  activities  in  order  to  maintain  their  cover,  and  they  have 
obtained  membership  lists  and  other  private  documents. 

(ii)  Scientific  and  technological  advances  have  rendered  traditional 
controls  on  electronic  surveillance  obsolete  and  have  made  it  more 
difficult  to  limit  intrusions.  Because  of  the  nature  of  wiretaps,  micro- 
phones and  other  sophisticated  electronic  techniques,  it  has  not  always 
been  possible  to  restrict  the  monitoring  of  communications  to  the  per- 
sons being  investigated, 

(c)  The  imprecision  and  manipulation  of  labels  such  as  "national 

^  The  techniques  noted  here  do  not  constitute  an  exhaustive  list  of  the  sur- 
reptitious means  by  whicli  intelligence  agencies  have  collected  information.  The 
FBI,  for  example,  has  obtained  a  great  deal  of  financial  information  about  Amer- 
ican ciitzens  from  tax  returns  filed  with  the  Internal  Revenue  Service.  (See  IRS 
Report:  Sec.  I.  "IRS  Disclosures  to  FBI  and  CIA.")  This  section,  however,  is 
limited  to  problems  raised  by  electronic  surveillance,  mail  opening,  surreptitious 
entries  informants  and  electronic  surveillances. 



security,"  "domestic  security,"  "subversive  activities,"  and  "foreign 
intelligence"  have  led  to  unjustified  use  of  these  techniques. 

Elaboration  of  Findings 

The  preceding  section  described  how  the  absence  of  rigorous  stand- 
ards for  opening,  controlling,  and  terminating  investigations  sub- 
jected many  diverse  elements  of  this  society  to  scrutiny  by  intelligence 
agencies,  without  their  being  suspected  of  violating  any  law.  Once  an 
investigation  was  opened,  almost  any  item  of  information  about  a 
target's  personal  behavior  or  political  views  was  considered  worth 

Extremely  intrusive  techniques — such  as  those  listed  above — have 
often  been  used  to  accomplish  those  overly  broad  targeting  and  collec- 
tion objectives. 

The  paid  and  directed  informant  has  been  the  most  extensively  used 
technique  in  FBI  domestic  intelligence  investigations.  Informants 
were  used  in  83%  of  the  domestic  intelligence  investigations  analyzed 
in  a  recent  study  by  the  General  Accounting  Office.^^  As  of  June  30, 
1975,  the  FBI  was  using  a  total  of  1,500  domestic  intelligence  infor- 
mants,^  In  1972  there  were  over  7,000  informants  in  the  ghetto  infor- 
mant program  alone.  In  fiscal  year  1976,  the  Bureau  has  budgeted  more 
than  $7,4  million  for  its  domestic  intelligence  informant  program, 
more  than  twice  the  amount  allocated  for  its  organized  crime  infor- 
mant program.^ 

Wiretaps  and  microphones  have  also  been  a  significant  means  of 
gathering  intelligence.  Until  1972,  the  FBI  directed  these  electronic 
techniques  against  scores  of  American  citizens  and  domestic  organiza- 
tions during  investigations  of  such  matters  as  domestic  "subversive" 
activities  and  leaks  of  classified  information.  The  Bureau  continues  to 
use  these  techniques  against  foreign  targets  in  the  United  States. 

The  most  extensive  use  of  electronic  surveillance  has  been  by  the 
National  Security  Agency.  NSA  has  electronically  monitored  (with- 
out wiretapping  in  the  traditional  sense)  international  communication 
links  since  its  inception  in  1952 ;  because  of  its  sophisticated  technol- 
ogy, it  is  capable  of  intercepting  and  recording  an  enormous  number 
of  communications  between  the  United  States  and  foreign  countries.* 

All  mail  opening  programs  have  now  been  terminated,  but  a  total 
of  twelve  such  operations  were  conducted  by  the  CIA  and  the  FBI  in 
ten  American  cities  between  1940  and  1973.^  Four  of  these  were  oper- 
ated by  the  CIA,  whose  most  massive  project  involved  the  opening  of 
more  than  215,000  letters  between  the  TTnited  States  and  the  Soviet 
Union  over  a  twenty-year  period.  The  FBI  conducted  eight  mail  open- 
ing programs,  three  of  which  included  opening  mail  sent  between  two 
points  in  the  United  States.  The  longest  FBI  mail  opening  program 

"  Report  to  the  House  Committee  on  the  Judiciary,  by  the  Comptroller  General 
of  the  United  States,  "FBI  Domestic  Intelligence  Operations — ^^Their  purpose  and 
scope :  Issues  that  Need  to  be  Resolved,"  2/24/76,  p.  96. 

'^  FBI  memorandum  to  the  Select  Committee.  11/28/75. 

'Memorandum,  FBI  Overall  Intelligence  Program  FY  1977  Compared  to  FY 
1976  undated.  The  cost  of  the  intelligence  informant  program  comprises  payments 
to  informants  for  services  and  expense  as  well  as  the  costs  of  FBI  personnel, 
support  and  overhead. 

*  See  NSA  Report :  Sec.  I,  "Introduction  and  Summary." 

°  See  Mail  Opening  Reports :  Sec.  I,  "Summary  and  Principal  Conclusions." 


lasted,  with  one  period  of  suspension,  for  approximately  twenty-six 

The  FBI  has  also  conducted  hundreds  of  warrantless  surreptitious 
entries — break-ins — durino-  the  past  twenty-five  years.  Often  these 
entries  were  conducted  to  install  electronic  listening  devices;  at  other 
times  they  involved  physical  searches  for  information.  The  widespread 
use  of  warrantless  surreptitious  entries  against  both  foreign  and  do- 
mestic targets  was  termiriated  by  the  Bureau  in  1966  but  the  FBI  has 
occasionally  made  such  entries  against  foreign  targets  in  more  recent 

All  of  these  techniques  have  been  turned  against  American  citizens 
as  well  as  against  certain  foreign  targets.  On  the  theory  that  the 
executive's  responsibility  in  the  area  of  "national  security"  and  "for- 
eign intelligence"  justified  their  use  without  the  need  of  judicial  super- 
vision, the  intelligence  couununity  believed  it  was  free  to  direct  these 
techniques  against  individuals  and  organizations  whom  it  believed 
threatened  the  country's  security.  The  standards  governing  the  use  of 
these  techniques  have  been  imprecise  and  susceptible  to  expansive  inter- 
pretation and  in  the  absence  of  any  judicial  check  on  the  application  of 
these  vague  standards  to  particular  cases,  it  was  relatively  easy  for 
intelligence  agencies  and  their  superiors  to  extend  them  to  many  cases 
where  they  were  clearly  inappropriate.  Lax  internal  controls  on  the 
use  of  some  of  these  techniques  compounded  the  problem. 

These  intrusive  techni({ues  by  their  very  nature  invaded  tlie  private 
comunmications  and  activities  both  of  the  individuals  they  were  di- 
rected against  and  of  the  persons  with  whom  the  targets  communicated 
or  associated.  Conse(piently,  they  provided  the  means  by  whicli  all 
types  of  information — including  personal  and  political  information 
totally  unrelated  to  any  legitimate  governmental  objective — were  col- 
lected and  in  some  cases  disseminated  to  the  highest  levels  of  the 

Suhfindmg   {a) 

Given  the  highly  intrusive  nature  of  these  techniques,  the  legal 
standards  and  procedures  regulating  their  use  have  been  insufficient. 
There  have  been  no  statutory  controls  on  the  use  of  informants;  there 
have  been  gaps  and  exceptions  in  the  law  of  electronic  surveillance;  and 
the  legal  prohibitions  agaiiist  warrantless  mail  opening  and  surrepti- 
tious entries  have  been  ignored. 

1.  The  Absence  of  Statutory  Restraints  on  the  Use  of  Infornutnts 

There  are  no  statutes  or  published  regulations  governing  the  use  of 
informants.*'  Consequently,  the  FBI  is  free  to  use  informants,  guided 
only  by  its  own  internal  directives  which  can  be  changed  at  any  time  by 
FBI  officials  without  approval  from  outside  the  Bureau." 

"Title  28  of  the  United  States  Code  provides  only  that  appropriations  for  the 
Department  of  .Justice  are  available  for  payment  of  informants.  28  U.S.C.  §  .524. 

"  The  Attorney  General  has  announced  that  he  will  issue  guidelines  on  the  use 
of  informants  in  the  near  future,  and  our  recommendations  provide  standards  for 
informant  control  and  prohibitions  on  informant  activity.  (See  pp.  .328.)  In 
addition,  the  Attorney  General's  recently  promulgated  guidelines  on  "Domestic 
Security  Investigations"  limit  the  use  of  informants  at  'rhe  early  stages  of  such 
inquiries  and  provide  for  review  by  the  .Justice  Department  of  the  initiation  of 
"full  investigations"  in  which  new  informants  may  be  recruited. 


Apart  from  court  decisions  precluding  the  use  of  informants  to 
entrap  persons  into  criminal  activity,  there  are  few  judicial  opinions 
dealing  with  informants  and  most  of  those  concern  criminal  rather 
than  intelligence  informants.*  The  United  States  Suj^reme  Couit  has 
never  ruled  on  whether  the  use  of  intelligence  informants  in  the 
contexts  revealed  by  the  Committee's  investigation  offend  Firsit 
Amendment  rights  of  freedom  of  expression  and  association.'' 

In  the  absence  of  regulation  through  statute,  published  regidation, 
or  court  decision,  the  FBI  has  used  informants  to  report  on  virtually 
every  aspect  of  a  targeted  group  or  individual's  activity,  including 
lawful  political  expression,  political  meetings,  the  identities  of  group 
members  and  their  associates,  the  "thoughts  and  feelings,  intentions 
and  ambitions,-'  of  members,^"  and  personal  matters  irrelevant  to  any 
legitimate  governmental  interest.  Informants  have  also  been  used  by 
the  FBI  to  obtain  the  confidential  records  and  documents  of  a  group." 

Informants  could  be  used  in  any  intelligence  investigation.  FBI 
directives  have  not  limited  informant  reporting  to  actual  or  likely 
violence  or  other  violations  of  law.^-  Xor  has  any  determination  been 
made  concerning  whether  the  substantial  intrusion  represented  by 
informant  coverage  is  justified  by  the  government's  interest  in  ob- 
taining information,  or  whether  less  intrusive  means  would  adequately 
serve  the  government's  interest.  There  has  also  been  no  requirement 
that  the  decisions  of  FBI  officials  to  use  informants  be  reviewed  by 
anyone  outside  the  FBI.  In  short,  intelligence  informant  coverage 
has  not  been  subject  to  the  standards  which  govern  the  use  of  other 
intrusive  techniques  such  as  electronic  surveillance,  even  thoTigh  in- 
formants can  produce  a  far  broader  range  of  information. 

2.  Gaps  and  Exceptions  in  the  Laio  of  Electrmiic  Surveillance 

Congress  and  the  Supreme  Court  have  both  addressed  the  legal 
issues  raised  by  electronic  surveillance,  but  the  law  has  been  riddled 
with  gaps  and  exceptions.  The  Executive  branch  has  been  able  to 
apply  vague  standards  for  the  use  of  this  technique  to  particular  cases 

^  In  a  criminal  case  involving  charges  of  jury  bribery.  United  States  v.  Hoffa. 
385  U.S.  293  (1966),  the  Supreme  Court  ruled  that  an  informant's  testimony 
concerning  conversations  of  a  defendant  could  not  be  considered  the  product  of  a 
warrantless  search  in  violation  of  the  Fourth  Amendment  on  the  ground  the 
defendant  had  consented  to  the  presence  of  the  informant.  In  another  criminal 
case,  Lciois  v.  Vnited  States,  385  U.S.  206  (1966),  the  Court  stated  that  "in 
the  detection  of  many  types  of  crimes,  the  Government  is  entitled  to  use  decoys 
and  to  conceal  the  identity  of  its  agents." 

®  In  a  more  recent  case,  the  California  Supreme  Court  held  that  secret 
surveillance  of  classes  and  group  meetings  at  a  university  through  the  use  of 
undercover  agents  was  "likely  to  pose  a  sul)stantial  restraint  upon  the  exercise 
of  First  Amendment  rights."  White  v.  Davis,  533  Pac.  Rep.  2d,  223  (1975) 
Citing  a  number  of  U.S.  Supreme  Court  opinions,  the  California  Supreme  Court 
.stated  in  its  unanimous  decision  : 

"In  view  of  this  significant  potential  chilling  effect,  the  challenged  surveil- 
lance activities  can  only  be  sustained  if  [the  Oovernment]  can  demonstrate  a 
'compelling'  state  interest  which  justifies  the  resultant  deterrence  of  First 
Amendment  rights  and  which  cannot  be  served  by  alternative  means  less  instru- 
sive  on  fundamental  rights."  533  Pac.  Rep.  2d.  at  232 

"  Garv  Rowe  testimonv.  12/2/75  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  pp.  111.  118. 

"  Cook.  12/2/75.  Hearings,  Vol.  6.  p.  111. 

^  The  FBI  Manual  of  Instructions  proscribes  only  reporting  of  privileged 
communications  between  an  attorney  and  client,  legal  "defense  plans  or  strateg.v," 
"employer-employee  relationships"  (where  an  informant  is  connected  with  a 
labor  union),  and  "legitimate  institution  or  campus  activities"  at  schools.  (FBI 
Manual  Section  107.) 


as  it  has  seen  fit.  and,  in  the  case  of  NSA  monitoring,  the  standards 
and  procednres  for  the  use  of  electronic  surveillance  were  not  applied 
at  all. 

"\yiien  the  Supreme  Court  first  considered  wiretapping,  it  held  that 
the  warrantless  use  of  this  technique  was  constitutional  because  the 
Fourth  Amendment's  warrant  requirement  applied  only  to  physical 
trespass  and  did  not  extend  to  the  seizure  of  conversation.  This 
decision,  the  1928  case  of  Ohnstead  v.  United  States,  involved  a  crim- 
inal prosecution,  and  left  federal  agencies  free  to  engage  in  the 
unrestricted  use  of  wiretaps  in  both  criminal  and  intelligence  investi- 

Six  years  later,  Congress  enacted  the  Federal  Communications  Act 
of  1934,  which  made  it  a  crime  for  "any  person,"  without  authorization, 
to  intercept  and  divulge  or  publish  the  contents  of  wire  and  radio 
communications.  The  Supreme  Court  subsequently  construed  this  sec- 
tion to  apply  to  federal  agents  as  well  as  to  ordinary  citizens,  and  held 
that  evidence  obtained  directly  or  indirectly  from  the  interception  of 
wire  and  radio  communications  was  not  admissible  in  court."  But 
Congress  acquiesed  in  the  Justice  Department's  position  that  these 
cases  prohibited  only  the  divulgence  of  contents  of  wire  communica- 
tions outside  the  executive  branch, ^^  and  Government  wiretapping  for 
intelligence  purposes  other  than  prosecution  continued. 

On  the  ground  that  neither  the  1934  Act  nor  the  Supreme  Court 
decisions  on  wiretapping  were  meant  to  apply  to  "grave  matters  in- 
volving the  defense  of  the  nation,"'  President  Franklin  Roosevelt 
authorized  Attorney  General  Jackson  in  1940  to  approve  wiretaps 
on  "persons  suspected  of  subversive  activities  against  the  Govern- 
ment of  the  United  States,  including  suspected  spies."^*'  In  the  absence 
of  any  guidance  from  Congress  or  the  Court  for  another  quarter 
century,  the  executive  branch  first  broadened  this  standard  in  1946 
to  permit  wiretapping  in  "cases  vitally  affecting  the  domestic  security 
or  where  human  life  is  in  jeopardy,''  "  and  then  modified  it  in  1965 
to  allow  wiretapping  in  "investigations  related  to  the  national  se- 
curity." ^*  Internal  Justice  Department  policy  required  the  prior 
approA-al  of  the  Attorney  General  before  the  FBI  could  institute  wire- 
taps in  particular  cases,^^  but  until  the  mid-1960"s  there  was  no  require- 

"  Olmstead  v.  United  States,  277  U.S.  438  (1928) . 

".Yorf/o/ie  v.  United  States.  302  U.S.  397  (1937)  ;  308  U.S.  338  (1939). 

"  For  example,  letter  from  Attorney  General  Jackson  to  Rep.  Hatton  Summer.s, 
3/19/41  ;  See  Electronic  Surveillance  Report :  Sec.  II. 

^®  Memorandum  from  President  Roosevelt  to  the  Attorney  General  5/21/40. 

"  Letter  from  Attorney  General  Tom  C.  Clark  to  President  Truman,  7/17/46. 

"  Directive  from  President  .Johnson  to  Heads  of  Agencies,  6/30/65. 

"  President  Roosevelt's  1940  order  directed  the  Attorney  General  to  approve 
wiretaps  "after  investigation  of  the  need  in  each  case."  (Memorandum  from 
President  Roosevelt  to  Attorney  General  Jackson,  5/21/40.)  However,  Attorney 
General  Francis  Biddle  recalled  that  Attorney  General  Jackson  "turned  it  over 
to  Edgar  Hoover  without  himself  passing  on  each  case"  in  1940  and  1941,  Riddle's 
practice  beginning  in  1941  conformed  to  the  President's  order.  (Francis  Biddle, 
In  Brief  Authority  (Garden  City:  Doubleday,  1962),  p.  167.) 

Since  1965,  explicit  written  authorization  has  been  required.  (Directive  of 
President  Johnson  6/30/65.)  This  requirement  however,  has  often  been  dis- 
regarded. In  violation  of  this  requirement,  for  example,  no  written  authorizations 
were  obtained  from  the  Attorney  General — ^or  from  any  one  else — for  a  series 
of  four  wiretaps  implemented  in  1971  and  1972  on  Yeoman  Charles  Radford,  two 
of  his  friends,  and  his  father-in-law.  See  Electronics  Surveillance  Report ;  Sec.  VI. 



ment  of  periodic  reapproval  by  the  Attorney  General.^"  In  the  absence 
of  any  instruction  to  terminate  them,  some  wiretaps  remained  in  effect 
for  years.^^ 

In  1967,  the  Supreme  Court  reversed  its  holding  in  the  Olmstead 
case  and  decided  that  the  Fourth  Amendment's  warrant  requirement 
did  apply  to  electronic  surveillances.--  It  expressly  declined,  however, 
to  extend  this  holding  to  cases  involving  the  "national  security."  ^-* 
Congress  followed  suit  the  next  year  in  the  Omnibus  Crime  Control 
Act  of  1968,  which  established  a  warrant  procedure  for  electronic  sur- 
veillance in  criminal  cases  but  included  a  provision  that  neither  it  nor 
the  Federal  Communications  Act  of  1934  "shall  limit  the  constitutional 
power  of  the  President."  -^  Although  Congress  did  not  purport  to 
define  the  President's  power,  the  Act  referred  to  five  broad  categories 
which  thereafter  served  as  the  Justice  Department's  criteria  for  war- 
rantless electronic  surveillance.  The  first  three  categories  related  to 
foreign  intelligence  and  counterintelligence  matters : 

(1)  to  protect  the  Nation  against  actual  or  potential  attack  or 
other  hostile  acts  of  a  foreign  power ; 

C^)  to  obtain  foreign  intelligence  information  deemed  essential 
to  the  security  of  the  United  States ;  and 

(3)  to  protect  the  national  security  information  against  for- 
eign intelligence  activities. 

The  last  two  categories  dealt  with  domestic  intelligence  interests : 

(4)  to  protect  the  United  States  against  overthrow  of  the  gov- 
ernment by  force  or  other  unlawful  means,  or 

(5)  against  any  other  clear  and  present  danger  to  the  structure 
or  existence  of  the  government. 

In  1972,  the  Supreme  Court  held  in  United  States  v.  United  States 
District  Court^^^^  that  the  President  did  not  have  the  constitutional 
power  to  authorize  warrantless  electronic  surveillances  to  protect  the 


The  first  and  third  of  these  taps  were  implemented  at  the  oral  instruction  of 
Attorney  General  John  Mitchell.  (Memorandum  from  T.  J.  Smith  E.  S.  Miller, 
2/26/73.)  The  remaining  taps  were  implemented  at  the  oral  request  of  David 
Young,  and  assistant  to  John  Ehrlichman  at  the  White  House,  who  merely  in- 
formed the  Bureau  that  the  requests  originated  with  Ehrlichman  and  had  the 
Attorney  General's  concurrence.  (Memorandum  from  T.  J.  Smith  to  E.  S.  Miller. 

^°  Attorney  General  Nicholas  Katzenbach  instituted  this  requirement  in  March 
1965.  (Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  3/3/65.) 

^  The  FBI  maintained  one  wiretap  on  an  official  of  the  Nation  of  Lslam  that 
had  originally  been  authorized  by  Attorney  General  Brownell  in  1957  for  seven 
years  until  1964  without  any  subsequent  re-authorization.  (Memorandum  from 
J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  12/31/65,  initialed  "Approved :  HB, 

As  Nicholas  Katzenbach  testified :  "The  custom  was  not  to  put  a  time  limit 
on  a  tap,  or  any  wiretap  authorization.  Indeed,  I  think  the  Bureau  would  have 
felt  free  in  1965  to  put  a  tap  on  a  phone  authorized  by  Attorney  General  Jackson 
before  World  War  II."  (Nicholas  Katzenbach  testimony,  11/12/75,  p.  87.) 

-  Katz  V.  llnUcd  States,  389  U.S.  347  (1967). 

""  The  Court  wrote :  "Whether  safeguards  other  than  prior  authorization  by 
a  magistrate  would  satisfy  the  Fourth  Amendment  in  a  situation  involving  the 
national  security  is  a  question  not  presented  bv  this  case."  389  U.S.  at  358  n.  23. 

^'ISU.S.C.  2511  (3). 

=«M07U.S.  297  (1972) 


nation  from  domestic  threats.^*  The  Court  pointedly  refrained,  how- 
ever, from  any  "judgment  on  the  scope  of  the  Presidents'  surveillance 
power  with  respect  to  the  activities  of  foreign  powers,  within  or  with- 
out this  country."  ^^  Only  "the  domestic  aspects  of  national  security" 
came  within  the  ambit  of  the  Court's  decision.^*' 

To  conform  with  the  holding  in  this  case,  the  Justice  Department 
thereafter  limited  warrantless  wire  tapping  to  cases  involving  a  "sig- 
nificant comiection  with  a  foreign  power,  its  agents  or  agencies.^^ 

At  no  time,  however,  were  the  Justice  Department's  standards  and 
procedures  ever  applied  to  NSA's  electronic  monitoring  system  and  its 
"watch  listing''  of  American  citizens.^®  From  the  early  1960's  until  1973, 
NSA  compiled  a  list  of  individuals  and  organizations,  including  1200 
American  citizens  and  domestic  groups,  whose  communications  were 
segregated  from  the  mass  of  communications  intercepted  by  the 
Agency,  transcribed,  and  frequently  disseminated  to  other  agencies 
for  intelligence  purposes.^^ 

The  Americans  on  this  list,  many  of  whom  were  active  in  the  anti- 
war and  civil  rights  movements,  were  placed  there  by  the  FBI,  CIA, 
Secret  Service,  Defense  Department,  and  NSA  itself  without  prior 
judicial  warrant  or  even  the  prior  approval  of  the  Attorney  General. 
In  1970,  NSA  began  to  monitor  telephone  communications  links  be- 
tween the  United  States  and  South  America  at  the  request  of  the 
Bureau  of  Narcotics  and  Dangerous  Drugs  (BNDD)  to  obtain  infor- 
mation about  international  drug  trafficking.  BNDD  subsequently 
submitted  the  names  of  450  American  citizens  for  inclusion  on  the 

^  At  the  same  time,  the  Court  recognized  that  "domestic  security  surveillance" 
may  involve  different  policy  and  practical  considerations  apart  from  the  surveil- 
lance of  'ordinary  crime,'  407  U.S.  at  321,  and  thus  did  not  hold  that  "the  same 
type  of  standards  and  procedures  prescribed  by  Title  III  [of  the  1968  Act]  are 
necessarily  applicable  to  this  case."  (407  U.S.  at  321.)  The  Court  noted: 

"Given  the  potential  distinctions  between  Title  III  criminal  surveillances  and 
those  involving  the  domestic  security,  Congress  may  wish  to  consider  protective 
standards  for  the  latter  which  differ  from  already  prescribed  for  specified 
crime  in  Title  III.  Different  standards  may  be  compatible  with  the  Fourt  Amend- 
ment." (407  U.S.  at  321.) 

^407  U.S.  at  307. 

^'407  U.S.  at  320.  United  States  v.  United  States  District  Court  remains  the 
only  Supreme  Court  case  dealing  with  the  issue  of  warrantless  electronic  sur- 
veillance for  intelligence  purposes.  Three  federal  circuit  courts  have  considered 
this  issue  since  1972,  however.  The  Third  Circuit  and  the  Fifth  Circuit  both  held 
that  the  President  may  constitutionally  authoi'ize  warrantless  electronic  surveil- 
lance for  foreign  counterespionage  and  foreign  intelligence  purposes.  [United 
States  V.  Buteiiko,  494  F.2d  593  (3d  Cir.  1974),  cert,  denied  sub  nom.  Ivanov  v. 
United  States,  419  U.S.  881  (1974)  ;  and  United  States  v.  Broum,  484  F.2d  418 
(5th  Cir.,  1973),  cert,  denied  415  U.S.  960  (1974).]  The  District  of  Columbia  Cir- 
cuit held  unconstitutional  the  warrantless  electronic  surveillance  of  the  Jewish 
Defense  League,  a  domestic  organization  whose  activities  allegedly  affected 
U.S.  Soviet  relations  but  which  was  neither  the  agent  of  nor  in  collaboration 
with  a  foreign  power.  [Zweibon  v.  Mitchell,  516  F.2d  594  (D.C.  Cir.,  1975) 
{en  banc).] 

^  Testimony  of  Deputy  Assistant  Attorney  General  Kevin  Maroney,  Hearings 
before  the  Senate  Subcommittee  on  Administrative  Practice  and  Procedures, 
6/29/72,  p.  10.  This  language  paralled  that  of  the  Court  in  United  States  v. 
United  States  District  Court,  407  U.S.  at  309  n.  8. 

^  Although  Attorney  General  John  Mitchell  and  Justice  Department  officials  on 
the  Intelligence  Evaluation  Committee  apparently  learned  that  NSA  was  making 
a  contribution  to  domestic  intelligence  in  1971,  there  is  no  indication  that  the 
FBI  told  them  of  its  submission  of  names  of  Americans  for  inclusion  on  a  NSA 
"watch  list."  When  Assistant  Attorney  General  Henry  Petei'sen  learned  of  these 
practices  in  1973,  Attorney  General  Elliott  Richardson  ordered  that  they  be 
terminated.  (See  Report  on  NSA:  Sec.  I,  "Introduction  and  Summary.") 

^  See  NSA  Report :  Sec.  I,  "Introduction  and  Summary." 


Watch  List,  again  without  warrant  or  the  approval  of  the  Attorney 

The  legal  standards  and  procedures  regulating  the  use  of  micro- 
phone surveillance  have  traditionally  been  even  more  lax  than  those 
regulating  the  use  of  wiretapping.  The  first  major  Supreme  Court 
decision  on  microphone  surveillance  was  Goldman  v.  United  States^ 
316  U.S.  129  (1942),  which  held  that  such  surveillance  in  a  criminal 
case  was  constitutional  when  the  installation  did  not  involve  a  trespass. 
Citing  this  case,  Attorney  General  McGrath  prohibited  the  trespas- 
sory  use  of  this  technique  by  the  FBI  in  1952.^^  But  two  years  later — 
a  few  weeks  after  the  Supreme  Court  denounced  the  use  of  a  micro- 
phone installation  in  a  criminal  defendant's  bedroom  ^^ — Attorney 
General  Brownell  gave  the  FBI  sweeping  authority  to  engage  in 
bugging  for  intelligence  purposes.  ".  .  .  ( C )  onsiderations  of  internal 
security  and  the  national  safety  are  paramount,"  he  wrote,  "and,  there- 
fore, may  compel  the  unrestricted  use  of  this  technique  in  the  national 
interest."  ^^ 

Since  Brownell  did  not  require  the  prior  approval  of  the  Attorney 
General  for  bugging  specific  targets,  he  largely  undercut  the  policy 
that  had  developed  for  wiretapping.  The  FBI  in  many  cases  could 
obtain  equivalent  coverage  by  utilizing  bugs  rather  than  taps  and 
would  not  be  burdened  with  the  necessity  of  a  formal  request  to  thp 
Attorney  General. 

The  vague  "national  interest"  standards  established  by  Brownell. 
and  the  policy  of  not  requiring  the  Attorney  General's  prior  approval 
for  microphone  installations,  continued  until  1965,  when  the  Justice 
Department  began  to  apply  the  same  criteria  and  procedures  to  both 
microphone  and  telephone  surveillance. 

3.  Ignoring  the  Prohibitions  Against  Wai'^rantless  Mail  Opening  and 
Surreptitious  Entries 

Warrantless  mail  opening  and  surreptious  entries,  unlike  the  use 
of  informants  and  electronic  surveillance,  have  been  clearly  prohibited 
by  both  statuton^  and  constitutional  law.  In  violation  of  these  pro- 
hibitions, the  FBI  and  the  CIA  decided  on  their  own  when  and  how 
these  techiiiques  should  be  used.^^ 

Sections  1701  through  1973  of  Title  18  of  the  United  States  Code 
forbid  persons  other  than  employees  of  the  Postal  Service  "dead  letter" 
office  from  tampering  with  or  opening  mail  that  is  not  addressed  to 
them.  Violations  of  these  statutes  may  result  in  fines  of  up  to  $2000 

'"Memorandum  from  Iredell  to  Gayler,  4/10/70;  See  NSA  Report:  Sec.  I. 
Introduction  and  Summary.  BNDD  originally  requested  NSA  to  monitor  the 
South  American  link  because  it  did  not  believe  it  had  authority  to  wiretap  a  few 
public  telephones  in  New  York  City  from  which  drug  deals  were  apparently  being 
arranged.  (Iredell  testimony,  9/18/75,  p.  99.) 

'^  Memorandum  from  the  Attorney  General  to  Mr.  Hoover,  2/26/52. 

'=  Irvme  v.  California,  347  U.S.  128  (1954). 

^^  Memorandum  from  the  Attorney  General  to  the  Director,  FBI,  5/20/54. 

'*  While  such  techniques  might  have  been  authorized  by  Attorneys  General 
under  expansive  "internal  security"  or  "national  interest"  theories  similar  to 
Brownell's  authorization  for  installing  microphones  by  trespass,  the  issue  was 
never  presented  to  them  for  decision  before  1967.  when  Attorney  General  Ramsey 
Clark  turned  down  a  surreptitious  entry  request.  There  is  no  indication  that  the 
legal  questions  were  considered  in  any  depth  in  1970  or  1971  at  the  time  of  the 
"Huston  Plan"  and  its  aftermath.  See  Huston  Plan  Report:  Sec.  Ill,  Who, 
What,  When  and  Where. 


and  imprisonment  for  not  more  than  five  years.  The  Supreme  Court 
has  also  held  that  both  First  Amendment  and  Fourth  Amendment 
restrictions  appl}-  to  mail  opening. 

The  Fourth  Amendment  concerns  were  articulated  as  early  as  1878, 
when  the  Court  wrote : 

The  constitutional  guaranty  of  the  right  of  the  people  to  be 
secure  in  their  papers  against  unreasonable  searches  and 
seizures  extends  to  their  papers,  thus  closed  against  inspec- 
tion, wherever  the}-  may  be.  Whilst  in  the  mail,  they  can  only 
be  opened  and  examined  under  like  warrant  ...  as  is  re- 
quired when  papers  are  subjected  to  search  in  one's  own  house- 

This  principle  was  reaffirmed  as  recently  as  1970  in  United  States  v. 
YanLeeuicen.  396  U.S.  249  (1970).  The  infringement  of  citizens'  First 
xVmendment  rights  resulting  from  warrantless  mail  opening  was  first 
recognized  by  Justice  Holmes  in  1921.  "The  use  of  the  mails,''  he  wrote 
in  a  dissent  no^v  embraced  by  prevailing  legal  opinion,  "is  almost  as 
much  a  part  of  free  speech  as  the  right  to  use  our  tongues."  ^'  This 
principle,  too,  has  been  affirmed  in  recent  years.^^ 

Breaking  and  entering  is  a  conunon  laAv  felony  as  well  as  a  viola- 
tion of  state  and  federal  statutes.  AVhen  committed  by  Government 
agents,  it  has  long  been  recognized  as  "the  chief  evil  against  which 
the  wording  of  the  Fourth  Amendment  is  directed."  ^^ 

In  the  one  judicial  decision  concerning  the  legality  of  warrantless 
"national  security"  break-ins  for  physical  search  purposes.  United 
States  District  Court  Judge  Gerhard  Gescll  held  such  entries  un- 
constitutional. This  case.  United  States  v.  Ehrlichman,;^^  involved 
an  entry  into  the  office  of  a  Los  Angeles  psychiatrist.  Dr.  Lewis  Field- 
ing, to  obtain  the  medical  records  of  his  client  Daniel  Ellsberg,  who 
was  then  under  federal  indictment  for  revealing  classified  docu- 
ments. The  entry  was  approved  by  two  Presidential  assistants,  John 
Ehrlichman  and  Charles  Colson,  who  argued  that  it  had  been  justi- 
fied "in  the  national  interest."  Ruling  on  the  defendants'  discovery 
motions.  Judge  Gesell  found  that  because  no  search  Avarrant  was 
obtained : 

The  search  of  Dr.  Fielding's  office  was  clearly  illegal  under 
the  unambiguous  mandate  of  the  Fourth  Amendment.  .  . 
[T]he  Government  must  comply  with  the  strict  constitu- 
tional and  statutory  limitations  on  trespassory  searches  and 
arrests  even  when  known  foreign  agents  are  involved. . , . 
To  hold  otherwise,  except  under  the  most  exigent  circum- 
stances, would  be  to  abandon  the  Fourth  Amendment  to  the 
whim  of  the  Executive  in  total  disregard  of  the  Amend- 
ment's history  and  purpose." 

"^  Ex  Parte  Jackson,  96.  U.S.  727,  733  (1878). 

''''  Miltcaukec  Pub.  Co.  v.  Burleson,  255  U.S.  407.  437  (1921)    (dissent). 
^See  Lamont  v.  Postmaster  General,  381  U.S.  301  (1965)  ;  Procunier  v.  Mar- 
tinez, 416  U.  S.  396  ( 1975 ) . 

"^United  States  v.  United  States  District  Court,  407  US  297.  313  (1972). 
•"■376  F.  Supp.  29.  (D.D.C.  1974). 
"  376  F.  Supp.  at  33. 


In  the  appeal  of  this  decision,  the  Justice  Department  has  taken  the 
position  that  a  physical  search  may  be  authorized  by  the  Attorney 
General  without  a  warrant  for  "foreign  intelligence"  proposes.*^ 
The  warrantless  mail  opening  programs  and  surreptitious  entries 
by  the  FBI  and  CIA  did  not  even  conform  to  the  "foreign  intelligence" 
standard,  however,  now  were  they  specifically  approved  in  each  case  by 
the  Attorney  General.  Domestic  "subversives"  and  "extremists"  were 
targeted  for  mail  opening;  and  domestic  "subversives"  and  ""Wliite 
Hate  groups"  were  among  those  targeted  for  surreptitious  entries.*^ 
Until  the  Justice  Department's  recent  statement  in  the  Ehrlichman 
case,  moreover,  no  legal  justification  had  ever  been  advanced  publicly 
for  violating  the  statutory  or  constitutional  prohibitions  against  physi- 
cal searches  or  opening  mail  without  a  judicial  warrant,  and  none  has 
ever  been  officially  advanced  by  any  Administration  to  justify  war- 
rantless mail  openings. 

Subprnding  (h) 

In  addition  to  providing  the  means  by  which  the  Government 
can  collect  too  much  information  about  too  many  people,  certain  tech- 
niques have  their  own  peculiar  dangers  : 

(i)  Informants  have  provoked  and  participated  in  violence  and 
other  illegal  activities  in  order  to  maintain  their  cover,  and  they  have 
obtained  membership  lists  and  other  private  documents. 

(ii)  Scientific  and  technological  advances  have  rendered  obsolete 
traditional  controls  on  electronic  surveillance  obsolete  and  have  made 
it  more  difficult  to  limit  intrusions.  Because  of  the  nature  of  wiretaps, 
microphones,  and  other  sophisticated  electronic  techniques,  it  has  not 
always  been  possible  to  restrict  the  monitoring  of  communications  to 
the  persons  being  investigated. 

a.  The  Intrusive  Nature  of  the  Intelligence  Informant  Tech- 

The  FBI  employs  two  types  of  informants:  (1)  "intelligence 
informants"  who  are  used  to  report  on  groups  and  individuals  in  the 
course  of  intelligence  investigations,  and  (2)  "criminal  informants," 
who  are  used  in  connection  with  investigations  of  specific  criminal 
activity.  FBI  intelligence  informants  are  administered  by  the  FBI 
Intelligence  Division  at  Bureau  headquarters  through  a  centralized 
system  that  is  separate  from  the  administrative  system  for  FBI  crimi- 
nal informants.  For  example,  the  FBI's  large-scale  Ghetto  Informant 
Program  was  administered  by  the  FBI  Intelligence  Division.  The 
Committee's  investigation  centered  on  the  use  of  FBI  intelligence  in- 
formants. The  FBI's  criminal  informant  program  fell  outside  the 
scope  of  the  Committee's  mandate,  and  accordingly  it  was  not 

The  Committee  recognizes  that  FBI  intelligence  infonnants  in 
violent  groups  have  sometimes  played  a  key  role  in  the  enforcement  of 

■*"  Letter  from  Acting  Assistant  Attorney  General  John  C.  Keeny  to  Hugh  E. 
Kline.  Clerk  of  the  U.S.  Coiirt  of  Appeals  for  the  District  of  Columbia.  .5/9/75. 

"The  Supreme  Court's  decision  in  United  States  v.  United  States  District 
Court,  407  U.S.  297  (1972K  clearly  established  the  principle  that  such  warrant- 
less invasions  of  the  privacy  of  Americans  are  unconstitutional. 


the  criminal  law.  The  Committee  examined  a  number  of  such  cases,** 
and  in  public  hearings  on  the  use  of  FBI  intelligence  informants  in- 
cluded the  testimony  of  a  former  informant  in  the  Ku  Klux  Klan 
whose  reporting  and  court  room  testimony  was  essential  to  the  arrest 
and  conviction  of  the  murderers  of  Mrs.  Viola  Liuzzo,  a  civil  rights 
worker  killed  in  1965.*^  Former  Attorney  General  Katzenbach  testified 
that  informants  were  vital  to  the  solution  of  the  murders  of  three  civil 
rights  workers  killed  in  Mississippi  in  lOG-i.**^ 

FBI  informant  coverage  of  the  AYomen's  Liberation  INIovement  re- 
sulted in  intensive  reporting  on  the  identities  and  opinions  of  women 
Avho  attended  WLM  meetings.  For  example,  the  FBI's  New  York 
Field  Office  summarized  one  informant's  report  in  a  memorandum  to 
FBI  Headquarters: 

Informant   advised   that  a  "WLM  meeting  was  held  on 

*'  Each  woman  at 

this  meeting  stated  why  she  had  come  to  the  meeting  and  how 
she  felt  oppressed,  sexually  or  otherwise. 

According  to  this  informant,  these  women  are  mostly  con- 
cerned with  liberating  women  from  this  "oppressive  society." 
They  are  mostly  against  marriage,  children,  and  other  states 
of  oppression  caused  by  men.  Few  of  them,  according  to  the 
informant,  have  had  political  backgrounds.*^ 

Individual  women  who  attended  WLM  meetings  at  midwestern 
univei-sities  were  identified  by  FBI  intelligence  infomiants.  A  report 
by  the  Kansas  City  FBI  Field  Office  stated : 

Informant  indicates  members  of  Women's  Liberation 
campus  group  who  are  now  enrolled  as  students  at  Univei-sity 

of  Missouri,  Kansas  City,  are , , , 

,  *^  Informant  noted  that ,  and 

,^°  not  currently  students  on  the  UMKC  campus  are 

reportedly  roommates  at ^^ 

"  In  one  case,  an  FBI  informant  involved  in  an  intelligence  investigation 
of  the  Detroit  Black  Panther  Party  furnished  advance  information  regarding  a 
planned  ambush  of  Detroit  police  officers  which  enabled  the  Detroit  Police  De- 
partment to  take  necessary  action  to  prevent  injury  or  death  to  the  officers  and 
resulted  in  the  arrest  of  eight  persons  and  the  seizure  of  a  cache  of  weapons.  The 
informant  also  furnished  information  resulting  in  the  location  and  confiscation  by 
Bureau  agents  of  approximately  fifty  sticks  of  dynamite  available  to  the  Black 
Panther  Party  which  likely  resulted  in  the  saving  of  lives  and  the  prevention  of 
property  damage.    (Joseph  Deegan  testimony,  2/13/76,  p.  54) 

*^  Rowe,  12/2/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  115. 

^^  Katzenbach  testified  that  the  case  "could  not  have  been  solved  without 
acquiring  informants  who  were  highly  placed  members  of  the  Klan."  (Katzen- 
bach, 12/3/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  215.) 

*'  Date  and  address  deleted  at  FBI  request  so  as  not  to  reveal  informant's 

*^  Memorandum,  from  New  York  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  re  :  Women's 
Liberation  Movement,  5/28/69,  p.  2. 

*®  Names  deleted  for  security  reasons. 

^  Names  deleted  for  security  reasons. 

"  Names  and  addresses  deleted  for  security  reasons. 

68-786  0-76-14 


Informants  were  instructed  to  report  "everything"  they  knew  about 
a  group  to  the  FBI. 

...  to  go  to  meetings,  write  up  reports  ...  on  what  hap- 
pened, who  was  there  ...  to  try  to  totally  identify  the 
background  of  everj^  person  there,  what  their  relationships 
were,  who  they  were  living  with,  who  they  were  sleeping 
with,  to  try  to  get  some  sense  of  the  local  structure  and  the 
local  relationships  among  the  people  in  the  organization.^^ 

Another  intelligence  informant  described  his  mission  as  "total  report- 
ing." Rowe  testified  that  he  reported  "anything  and  everything  I 
observed  or  heard"  pertaining  to  any  member  of  the  group  he  infil- 

Even  where  intelligence  informants  are  used  to  infiltrate  groups 
where  some  members  are  suspected  of  violent  acti\dty,  the  nature  of 
the  intelligence  mission  results  in  governmental  intrusion  into  matters 
irrelevant  to  that  inquiry.  The  FBI  Special  Agents  who  directed  an 
intelligence  informant  in  the  Ku  Klux  Klan  testified  that  the 

.  .  .  furnished  us  information  on  the  meetings  and  the 
thoughts  and  feelings,  intentions  and  ambitions,  as  best  he 
knew  them,  of  other  members  of  the  Klan,  both  the  rank  and 
file  and  the  leaderehip.^^ 

Intelligence  informants  also  report  on  other  groups — not  the  sub- 
ject of  intelligence  investigations — which  merely  associate  with,  or 
are  even  opposed  to,  the  targeted  group.  For  example,  an  FBI  in- 
formant in  the  VVAW  had  the  following  exchange  with  a  member  of 
the  Committee : 

Senator  Hart  (Mich.).  .  .  .  did  you  report  also  on  groups 
and  individuals  outside  the  [VVAW].  such  as  other  peace 
groups  or  individuals  who  were  opposed  to  the  war  whom  you 
came  in  contact  with  because  they  were  cooperating  with  the 
[^^^AW]  in  connection  with  protest  demonstrations  and 
petitions  ? 

Ms.  Cook.  ...  I  ended  up  reporting  on  groups  like  the 
United  Church  of  Christ.  American  Civil  Liberties  Union,  the 
National  Lawyers  Guild,  liberal  church  organizations 
[which]  quite  often  went  into  coalition  with  the  VVAW.^^ 

This  informant  reported  the  identities  of  an  estimated  1,000  in- 
dividuals to  the  FBI,  although  the  local  chapter  to  which  she  was 
assigned  had  onlv  55  regular  members.^*'  Similarly,  an  FBI  infor- 
mant in  the  Ku  Klux  Klan  reported  on  the  activities  of  civil  rights 
and  black  groups  that  he  observed  in  the  course  of  his  work  in  the 

In  short,  the  intelligence  informant  technique  is  not  a  precise  instru- 
ment. By  its  nature,  it  extends  far  beyond  the  sphere  of  proper  govern- 

^  Cook,  12/2/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  111. 
^'  Rowe,  12/2/75,  Hearings.  Vol.  6,  p.  116. 
"  Special  Agent,  11/21/75,  p.  7. 
^  Cook,  12/2/75.  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  pp.  119, 120. 
^  Cook,  12/2/75.  Hearings,  Vol.  6.  p.  120. 
^'  Rowe,  12/2/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  116. 


mental  interest  and  risks  governmental  monitoring  of  the  private  lives 
and  the  constitutionally-protected  activity  of  Americans.  Nor  is  the 
intelligence  informant  technique  used  infrequently.  As  reflected  in 
the  statistics  described  above,  FBI  intelligence  investigations  are 
in  large  part  conducted  through  the  use  of  informants;  and  FBI 
agents  are  instructed  to  "develop  reliable  informants  at  all  levels  and 
in  all  segments''  of  groups  under  investigation.^^ 

6.  Other  Dangers  in  the  Intelligence  Informunt  Technique 

In  the  absence  of  clear  guidelines  for  informant  conduct.  FBI  paid 
and  directed  intelligence  informants  have  participated  in  violence  and 
other  illegal  activities  and  have  taken  membership  lists  and  other 
private  documents. 

1.  Participation  in  Violence  and  Other  Illegal  Activity 

The  Committee's  investigation  has  revealed  that  there  is  often  a 
fundamental  dilemma  in  the  use  of  intelligence  informants  in  violent 
organizations.  The  Committee  recognizes  that  intelligence  informants 
in  such  groups  have  sometimes  played  essential  roles  in  the  enforce- 
ment of  the  criminal  law.  At  the  same  time,  however,  the  Committee 
has  found  that  the  intelligence  informant  technique  carries  with  it 
the  substantial  danger  that  informants  will  participate  in,  or  provoke, 
violence  or  illegal  activity.  Intelligence  informants  are  frequently 
infiltrated  into  groups  for  long-term  reporting  rather  than  to  collect 
evidence  for  use  in  prosecutions.  Consequently,  intelligence  informants 
must  participate  in  the  activity  of  the  group  they  penetrate  to  preserve 
their  cover  for  extended  periods.  Where  the  group  is  involved  in 
violence  or  illegal  activity,  there  is  a  substantial  risk  that  the  infor- 
ant  must  also  become  involved  in  this  activity.  As  an  FBI  Special 
Agent  who  handled  an  intelligence  informant  in  the  Ku  Klux  Klan 
testified  :  "[you]  couldn't  be  an  angel  and  be  a  good  informant. ''"^^ 

FBI  officials  testified  that  it  is  Bureau  practice  to  instruct  informants 
that  they  are  not  to  engage  in  violence  or  unlawful  activity  and,  if 
they  do  so,  they  may  be  prosecuted.  FBI  Deputy  Associate  Director 
Adams  testified : 

...  we  have  informants  who  have  gotten  involved  in  the 
violation  of  the  law,  and  we  have  immediately  converted  their 
status  from  an  informant  to  the  subject,  and  have  prosecuted, 
I  would  say,  offhand  .  .  .  around  20  informants.^" 

The  Committee  finds,  however,  that  the  existing  guidelines  dealing 
with  informant  conduct  do  not  adequately  ensure  that  intelligence 
informants  stay  within  the  law  in  carrying  out  their  assignments. 
The  FBI  Manual  of  Instructions  contain  no  provisions  governing 
informant  conduct.  While  FBI  employee  conduct  regulations  pro- 
hibit an  FBI  agent  from  directing  informants  to  engage  in  violent 
or  other  illegal  activity,  informants  themselves  are  not  governed  by 
these  regulations  since  the  FBI  does  not  consider  them  as  FBI 

^  FBI  Manual,  Section  107  c  (3) . 
^  Special  Agent.  11/21/75,  p.  12. 
*»  Adams,  12/2/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  150. 


In  the  absence  of  clear  and  precise  written  provisions  directly  appli- 
cable to  informants,  FBI  intellio;ence  informants  have  engaged  in  vio- 
lent and  other  illegal  activity.  For  example,  an  FBI  intelligence  in- 
formant who  penetrated  the  Kii  Klux  Klan  and  reported  on  its 
activities  for  over  five  years  testified  that  on  a  number  of  occassions  he 
and  other  Klansmen  had  "beaten  people  severely,  had  boarded  buses 
and  kicked  people  off ;  had  went  in  restaurants  and  beaten  them  with 
blackjacks,  chains,  pistols."  *^^  This  informant  described  how  he  had 
taken  part  in  Klan  attacks  on  Freedom  Riders  at  the  Birmingham, 
Alabama,  bus  depot,  where  "baseball  bats,  clubs,  chains  and  pistols" 
were  used  in  beatings.^^ 

Although  the  FBI  Special  Agents  who  directed  this  informant  in- 
structed him  that  he  was  not  to  engage  in  violence,  it  was  recognized 
that  there  was  a  substantial  risk  that  he  would  become  a  participant 
in  violent  activity. 

As  one  of  the  Agents  testified : 

...  it  is  kind  of  difficult  to  tell  him  that  we  would  like  you  to  be 
there  on  deck,  observing,  be  able  to  give  us  information  and 
still  keep  yourself  detached  and  uninvolved  and  clean,  and 
that  was  the  problem  that  we  constantly  had.*'^ 

In  another  example,  an  FBI  intelligence  informant  penetrated 
"right  wing"  groups  operating  in  California  under  the  names  "The 
Minutemen"  and  "The  Secret  Army  Oroganization.''  The  informant 
reported  on  the  activities  of  these  "right  wing"  paramilitary  groups 
for  a  period  of  five  years  but  was  also  involved  in  acts  of  violence  or 
destruction.  In  addition,  the  informant  actually  rose  to  a  position  of 
leadership  in  the  SAO  and  became  an  innovator  of  various  harass- 
ment actions.  For  example,  he  admittedlv  participated  in  firebombing 
of  an  automobile  and  was  present,  conducting  a  "surveillance"  of  a 
professor  at  San  Diego  State  University,  when  his  associate  and 
subordinate  in  the  SAO  took  out  a  gun  and  fired  into  the  home  of  the 
professor,  wounding  a  young  woman.*'* 

An  FBI  intelligence  informant  in  a  group  of  antiwar  protesters 
planning  to  break  into  a  draft  board  claimed  to  have  provided  tech- 
nical instruction  and  materials  that  were  essential  to  the  illegal  break- 
testified  to  the  committee : 

Everything  they  learned  about  breaking  into  a  building  or 
climbing  a  wall  or  cutting  glass  or  destroying  lockers,  I  taught 
them.  I  got  sample  equipment,  the  type  of  windows  that  we 
would  go  through,  I  picked  up  off  the  job  and  taught  them  how 
to  cut  the  slass,  how  to  drill  holes  in  the  glass  so  you  cannot 
hear  it  and  stuff  like  that,  and  the  FBI  supplied  me  with  the 
equipment  needed.  The  stuff  I  did  not  have,  the  [the  FBI]  got 
off  their  own  agents. ^^ 

The  Committee  finds  that  where  informants  are  paid  and  directed 
by  a  government  agency,  the  government  has  a   responsibility  to 

"  Rowe  deposition,  10/17/75.  p.  12. 
«-  Rowe,  12/2/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  118. 
**  Special  Agent,  11/21/75,  pp.  16-17. 

'*  JMemorandum  from  the  FBI  to  Senate  Select  Committee,  2/26/76,  with 

""  Hardy,  9/29/75,  pp.  16-17. 


impose  clear  restrictions  on  their  conduct.  Unwritten  practice  or  gen- 
eral provisions  aimed  at  persons  other  than  the  informants  themselves 
are  not  sufficient.  In  the  investigation  of  violence  or  illegal  activity,  it 
is  essential  that  the  government  not  be  implicated  in  such  activity. 

2.  Mefnhership  Lists  and  Other  Private  Documents  Ohtained  hy  the 
Government  Through  InteJligem.ce  Infoi-munts 

The  Committee  finds  that  there  are  inadequate  guidelines  to  regulate 
the  conduct  of  intelligence  informants  with  respect  to  private  and 
confidential  documents,  such  as  membership  lists,  mailing  lists  and 
papers  relating  to  legal  matters.  The  Fourth  Amendment  provides 
that  citizens  shall  be  ""secure  in  their  .  .  .  papers  and  effects,  against 
unreasonable  searches  and  seizures''  and  requires  probable  cause  to 
believe  there  has  been  a  violation  of  law  before  a  search  warrant  may 
issue.  Moreover  the  Supreme  Court,  in  NAACP  v.  AJahama,^^  held 
that  the  First  Amendment's  protections  of  speech,  assembly  and  group 
association  did  not  permit  a  state  to  compel  the  production  of  the 
membership  list  of  a  group  engaged  in  lawful  activity.  The  Court  dis- 
tinguished the  case  where  a  state  was  able  to  demonstrate  a  "control- 
ling justification''  for  such  lists  by  showing  a  group's  activities  in- 
volved "acts  of  unlawful  intimidation  and  violence."  *"^'' 

There  are  no  provisions  in  the  FBI  ]Manual  which  preclude  the 
FBI  from  obtaining  private  and  confidential  documents  through 
intelligence  informants.  The  ^Manual  does  prohibit  informant  report- 
ing of  "any  information  pertaining  to  defense  plans  or  strategy,"  but 
the  FBI  interprets  this  as  applying  only  to  privileged  communications 
between  an  attorney  and  client  in  connection  with  a  specific  court 

The  Committee's  investigation  has  shown  that,  the  FBI,  through 
its  intelligence  informants  and  sources,  has  sought  to  obtain  member- 
ship lists  and  other  confidential  documents  of  groups  and  individuals.^® 
For  example,  one  FBI  Special  Agent  testified  : 

I  remember  one  evening  .  .  .  [an  informant]  called  my 
home  and  said  I  will  meet  you  in  a  half  an  hour  ...  I  have 
a  complete  list  of  everybody  that  I  have  just  taken  out  of  the 
files,  but  I  have  to  have  it  back  within  such  a  length  of  time. 

Well,  naturally  I  left  home  and  met  him  and  had  the  list 
duplicated  forthwith,  and  back  in  his  possession  and  back  in 
the  files  with  nobody  suspecting."  '^^ 

Similarly,  the  FBI  Special  Agent  who  handled  an  intelligence 
informant  in  an  antiwar  group  testified  that  he  obtained  confidential 
papers  of  the  group  which  related  to  legal  defense  matters : 

"She  brought  back  several  things  .  .  .  various  position  papers 
taken  by  various  legal  defense  groups,  general  statements 
of  .  .  .  the  VVAW,  legal  thoughts  on  various  trials,  the 

*'3.57  U.S.  449  (1958).  Similarly,  in  Bates  v.  Citij  of  Utile  Rock.  361  U.S. 
516  (1960),  the  Supreme  Court  held  compulsory  disclosure  of  group  membership 
lists   was   an   imjustified   interference   with   members'   freedom  of  association. 

^^''Sei  U.S.  at  46.5. 

"'  FBI  Manual  of  Instructions,  Section  107. 

■^  Surreptitious  entry  has  also  provided  a  means  for  the  obtaining  of  such  lists 
and  other  confidential  documents. 

•"  Special  Agent,  11/19/75,  pp.  10-11. 


Gainesville    (Florida)    8  .   .   .  the  Camden    (New  Jersey) 
9  .  .  .  various  documents  from  all  of  these  groups."  '" 

This  informant  also  testified  that  she  took  the  confidential  mailing 
list  of  the  group  she  had  penetrated  and  gave  it  to  the  FBI.'^ 

She  also  gave  the  FBI  a  legal  manual  prepared  by  the  group's 
attorneys  to  guide  lawyers  in  defending  the  group's  members  should 
they  be  arrested  in  connection  with  antiwar  demonstrations  or  other 
political  activity. ^^  Since  this  document  was  prepared  as  a  general 
legal  reference  manual  rather  than  in  connection  with  a  specific  trial 
the  FBI  considered  it  outside  the  attorney-client  privilege  and  not 
barred  by  the  FBI  Manual  provision  with  respect  to  legal  defense  and 
strategy  matters. 

For  the  government  to  obtain  membership  lists  and  other  private 
documents  pertaining  to  lawful  and  protected  activities  covertly 
through  intelligence  informants  risks  infringing  rights  guaranteed  by 
the  Constitution.  The  Committee  .finds  that  there  is  a  need  for  new 
guidelines  for  informant  conduct  with  respect  to  the  private  papers  of 
groups  and  individuals. 

c.  Electronic  Surveillance 
In  the  absence  of  judicial  warrant,  both  the  "traditional"  forms  of 
electronic  surveillance  practiced  by  the  FBI — wiretapping  and  bug- 
ging— and  the  highly  sophisticated  form  of  electronic  monitoring  prac- 
ticed by  NSA  have  been  used  to  collect  too  much  information  about 
too  many  people. 

1.  Wiretapping  and  Bugging 

Wiretaps  and  bugs  are  considered  by  FBI  officials  to  be  one  of  the 
most  valuable  techniques  for  the  collection  of  information  relevant  to 
the  Bureau's  legitimate  foreign  counterintelligence  mandate.  W.  Ray- 
mond Wannall,  the  former  Assistant  Director  in  charge  of  the  FBI's 
Intelligence  Division,  stated  that  electronic  surveillance  assisted  Bu- 
reau officials  in  making  "decisions"  as  to  operations  against  foreigners 
engaged  in  espionage.  "It  gives  us  leads  as  to  persons  .  .  .  hostile  intel- 
ligence services  are  trying  to  subvert  or  utilize  in  the  United  States,  so 
certainly  it  is  a  valuable  technique."  ^^ 

Despite  its  stated  value  in  foreign  counterintelligence  cases,  how- 
ever, the  dangers  inherent  in  its  use  imply  a  clear  need  for  rigorous 
controls.  By  their  nature,  wiretaps  and  bugs  are  incapable  of  a  sur- 
gical precision  that  would  permit  intelligence  agencies  to  overhear 
only  the  target's  conversations.  Since  wiretaps  are  placed  on  particular 
telephones,  anyone  who  uses  a  tapped  phone — ^including  members  of 
the  target's  family — can  be  overheard.  So,  too,  can  everyone  with 
whom  the  target  (or  anvone  else  using  the  target's  telephone)  commu- 
nicates.^* Microphones  planted  in  the  target's  room  or  office  inevitably 
intercept  all  conversations  in  a  particular  area:  anyone  conferring  in 
the  room  or  office,  not  just  the  target,  is  overheard. 

™  Special  Agent,  11/20/75,  pp.  15-16. 

"  Cook,  12/2/75,  Hearings,  Vol.  6,  p.  112. 

■"  Cook  clepo.<?ition,  10/14/75,  p.  36. 

''^  W.  Raymond  Wannall  testimony.  10/21/75,  p.  21. 

''^  Under  the  .Justice  Department's  procedures  for  Title  III  (court-ordered) 
wiretaps,  however,  the  monitoring  agent  is  obligated  to  turn  off  the  recording 
equipment  when  certain  privileged  communications  begin.  Manual  for  conduct 
of  Electronic  Surveillance  under  Title  III  of  Public  Law  90-351,  Sec.  8.1. 


The  intrusiveness  of  these  techniques  has  a  second  aspect  as  well.  It 
is  extremely  difficult,  if  not  impossible,  to  limit  the  interception  to 
conversations  that  are  relevant  to  the  purposes  for  which  the  surveil- 
lance is  placed.  Virtually  all  conversations  are  overheard,  no  matter 
how  trivial,  personal,  or  political  they  might  be.  "\Mien  the  electronic 
surveillance  target  is  a  political  figure  who  is  likely  to  discuss  political 
affairs,  or  a  lawyer,  who  confers  with  his  clients,  the  possibilities  for 
abuse  are  obviously  heightened. 

The  dangei-s  of  indiscriminate  interception  are  perhaps  most  acute 
in  the  case  of  microphones  planted  in  locations  such  as  bedrooms. 
When  Attorney  General  Herbert  Brownell  gave  the  FBI  sweeping  au- 
thority to  engage  in  microphone  surveillances  for  intelligence  pur- 
poses in  1954,  he  expressly  permitted  the  Bureau  to  plant  microphones 
in  such  locations  if,  in  the  sole  discretion  of  the  FBI,  the  facts  war- 
ranted the  installation."  Acting  under  this  general  authority,  for  ex- 
ample, the  Bureau  installed  no  fewer  than  twelve  bugs  in  hotel  rooms 
occupied  by  Dr.  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr. '  ^ 

The  King  surveillances  which  occurred  between  January  1964  and 
October  1965,  were  ostensibly  approved  within  the  FBI  for  internal 
securit}^  reasons,  but  they  produced  vast  amounts  of  personal  infor- 
mation that  were  totallj^  unrelated  to  any  legitimate  governmental 
interest;  indeed,  a  single  hotel  room  bug  alone  yielded  twenty  reels 
of  tape  that  subsequently  provided  the  basis  for  the  dissemination 
of  personal  information  about  Dr.  King  throughout  the  Federal  estab- 
lishment."*'^ Significantly,  FBI  internal  memoranda  with  respect  to 
some  of  the  installations  make  clear  that  they  were  planted  in  Dr. 
King's  hotel  rooms  for  the  express  purpose  of  obtaining  personal  in- 
formation about  him." 

Extremely  personal  information  about  the  target,  his  family,  and 
his  friends,  is  easily  obtained  from  wiretaps  as  well  as  microphones. 
This  fact  is  clearly  illustrated  by  the  warrantless  electronic  surveil- 
lance of  an  American  citizen  who  was  suspected  of  leaking  classified 
data  to  the  press.  A  wiretap  on  this  individual  produced  no  evidence 
that  he  liad  in  fact  leaked  any  stories  or  documents,  but  among  the 
items  of  information  that  the  FBI  did  obtain  from  the  tap  (and  de- 
livered in  utmost  secrecy  to  the  "\"\niite  House)  were  the  following :  that 
"meat  was  ordered  [by  the  target's  family]  from  a  grocer;"  that  the 
target's  daughter  had  a  toothache ;  that  the  target  needed  grass  clip- 
pings for  a  compost  heap  he  was  building;  and  that  during  a  telephone 
conversation  between  the  target's  wife  and  a  friend  the  "matters  dis- 
cussed were  milk  bills,  hair,  soap  operas,  and  church."  ''^ 

''^  Memorandum  from  the  Attorney  General  to  the  Director.  FBI.  5/20/54. 

™  Three  additional  bui^s  were  planted  in  Dr.  King's  hotel  rooms  in  1965  after 
the  standards  for  "n-iretapping  and  microphone  .surveillance  became  identical. 
According  to  FBI  memoranda,  apparently  initiated  by  Katzenbach.  Attorney 
General  Nicholas  Katzenbach  was  given  after  the  fact  notification  that  these 
three  surveillances  of  Dr.  King  had  occurred.  See  p.  273,  and  the  King  Re- 
port, Sec.  IV.  for  further  details. 

^^  Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardener  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  3/26/64. 

"  For  example,  memorandum  from  Baumgardner  to  W.   C.  Sullivan,  2/4/64. 

"  FBI  memoranda.  Identifying  details  are  being  withheld  by  the  Select  Com- 
mittee  of  privacy  considerations.  Even  the  FBI  realized  that  this  type  of 
information  was  unrelated  to  criminnl  activity  or  national  security:  for  the  last 
four  months  of  this  surveillance,  most  of  the  summaries  that  were  disseminated 
to  the  White  House  began,  "The  following  is  a  summary  of  nonpertinent  informa- 
tion concerning  captioned  individual  as  of  .  .  ." 


The  so-called  "seventeen"  wiretaps  on  journalists  and  government 
employees,  which  collectively  lasted  from  May  1969  to  Febniaiy  1971, 
also  illustrate  the  intrusiveness  of  electronic  surveillance.  According 
to  former  President  Nixon,  these  taps  produced  "just  gobs  of  material : 
gossip  and  bull."  ^^  FBI  summaries  of  information  obtained  from  the 
wiretaps  and  disseminated  to  the  White  House,  suggest  that  the  former 
Presidents  private  evaluation  of  them  was  correct.  This  wiretapping 
program  did  not  reveal  the  source  of  any  leaks  of  classified  data,  which 
was  its  ostensible  purpose,  but  it  did  generate  a  wealth  of  information 
about  the  personal  lives  of  the  targets — their  social  contacts,  their 
vacation  plans,  their  employment  satisfactions  and  dissatisfaction, 
their  marital  problems,  their  drinking  habits,  and  even  their  sex  lives.^^ 

Among  those  who  were  incidentally  overheard  on  one  of  these  wire- 
taps was  a  currently  sitting  Associate  Justice  of  the  Supreme  Court 
of  the  United  States,  who  made  plans  to  review  a  manuscript  written 
by  one  of  the  targets.*^  Vast  amounts  of  political  information  were  also 
obtained  from  these  wiretaps.^^ 

The  "seventeen"  wiretaps  also  exemplify  the  particularly  acute 
problems  of  wiretapping  when  the  targeted  individuals  are  involved 
in  the  domestic  political  process.  These  wiretaps  produced  vast  amounts 
of  purely  political  information,^-  much  of  which  was  obtained  from 
the  home  telephones  of  two  consultants  to  Senator  Edmund  Muskie 
and  other  Democratic  politicians. 

The  incidental  collection  of  political  information  from  electronic 
surveillance  is  also  shown  bv  a  series  of  telephone  and  microphone 
surveillances  conducted  during  the  Kennedy  administration.  In  an  in- 
vestigation of  the  possibly  unlawful  attempts  of  representatives  of  a 
foreign  country  to  influence  congressional  deliberations  about  sugar 
quota  legislation  in  the  early  1960s,  Attorney  General  Robert  Kennedy 
authorized  a  total  of  twelve  warrantless  wiretaps  on  foreign  and  do- 
mestic targets.  Among  the  wiretaps  of  American  citizens  were  two  on. 
American  lobbyists,  three  on  executive  branch  officials,  and  two  on  a 
staff  member  of  a  House  of  Representatives'  Committee.^^  A  bug  was 
also  planted  in  the  hotel  room  of  a  ITnited  States  Congressman,  the 
Chairman  of  the  House  Agriculture  Committee,  Harold  D.  Cooley.®* 

Although  this  investigation  was  apparently  initiated  because  of  the 
Government's  concern  about  future  relations  with  the  foreign  coun- 
try involved  and  the  possibility  of  bribery,®^  it  is  clear  that  the  Ken- 

''^  Transcript  of  Presidential  Tapes.  2/28/73  (House  Judiciary  Committee  State- 
ment of  Information,  Book  VII,  Part  4,  p.  1754). 

^°  For  example,  letters  from  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  7/25/69,  and 
7/.31/6f>:  letters  from  Hoover  to  H.  R.  Haldeman,  6/25/70. 

■"  Letter  from  Hoover  to  Haldeman.  6/25/70. 

*^  Examples  of  such  information  are  listed  in  the  finding  on  Political  Abuse,  "The 
'17'  wiretaps." 

^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  2/14/61 ; 
Memorandum  from  .T.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  2/16/61 ;  Memo- 
randum from  .J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  6/26/62 ;  Memorandum 
from  Wannall  to  W.  C.  Sullivan.  12/22/66. 

•*  Memorandum  from  D.  E.  Moore  to  A.  H.  Belmont,  2/16/61. 

^  Memorandum  from  W.  R.  Wannall  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  12/22/66;  Memorandum 
from  A.  H.  Belmont  to  Mr.  Parsons,  2/14/61.  This  investigation  did  discover 
that  representatives  of  a  foreign  nation  were  attempting  to  influence  Congres- 
sional deliberations,  but  it  did  not  reveal  that  money  was  being  passed  to  any 
member  of  Congress  or  Congressional  staff  aide. 


nedy  administration  was  politically  interested  in  the  outcome  of  the 
sugar  quota  legislation  as  well.^^  Given  the  nature  of  the  techniques 
used  and  of  the  targets  they  were  directed  against,  it  is  not  surprising 
that  a  great  deal  of  potentially  useful  political  information  was  gen- 
erated from  these  '"Sugar  Lobby"  surveillances.^' 

The  highly  intrusive  nature  of  electronic  surveillance  also  raises 
special  problems  when  the  targets  are  lawyers  and  journalists.  Over 
the  past  two  decades  there  have  been  a  number  of  wiretaps  placed  on 
the  office  telephones  of  lawyers.^*  In  the  Sugar  Lobby  investigation, 
for  example,  Eobert  Kennedy  authorized  wiretaps  on  ten  telephone 
lines  of  a  single  law  firm.^°  All  of  these  lines  were  apparently  used  by 
the  one  lawyer  who  was  a  target  and  presumably  by  other  attorneys  in 
the  firm  as  well.  Such  wiretaps  represent  a  serious  threat  to  the  attor- 
ney-client privilege,  because  once  they  are  instituted  they  are  capable 
of  detecting  all  conversations  between  a  lawyer  and  his  clients,  even 
those  relating  to  pending  criminal  cases. 

Since  1960,  at  least  six  American  journalists  and  newsmen  have  also 
been  the  targets  of  warrantless  wiretaps  or  bugs.^^  These  surveillances 
were  all  rationalized  as  necessary  to  discover  the  source  of  leaks  of 
classified  information,  but,  since  wiretaps  and  bugs  are  indiscriminate 
in  the  types  of  information  collected,  some  of  these  taps  revealed  the 
attitudes  of  various  newsmen  toward  certain  politicians  and  supplied 
advance  notice  of  forthcoming  newspaper  and  magazine  articles  deal- 
ing with  administration  policies.  The  collection  of  information  such 
as  this,  and  the  precedent  set  by  wiretapping  of  newsmen,  generally, 
inevitably  tends  to  undermine  the  constitutional  guarantee  of  a  free 
and  independent  press. 

2.  NSA  Monitoring 

The  National  Security  Agency  (NSA)  has  the  capability  to  monitor 
almost  any  electronic  communication  which  travels  through  the  air. 
This  means  that  NSA  is  capable  of  intercepting  a  telephone  call  or 
even  a  telegram,  if  such  call  or  telegram  is  transmitted  at  least  par- 
tially through  the  air.  Radio  transmissions,  a  fortiori^  are  also  within 
NSA's  reach. 

Since  most  communications  today — to  an  increasing  extent  even 
domestic  communications — are,  at  some  point,  transmitted  through  the 
air,  XSA's  potential  to  violate  the  privacy  of  American  citizens  is  un- 
matched by  any  other  intelligence  agency.  Furthermore,  since  the  inter- 
ception of  electronic  signals  entails  neither  the  installation  of  electronic 
surveillance  devices  nor  the  cooperation  of  private  communications 
companies,  the  possibility  that  such  interceptions  will  be  undetected 
is  enhanced. 

NSA  has  never  turned  its  monitoring  apparatus  upon  entirely  do- 
mestic communications,  but  from  the  early  1960s  until  1973,  it  did  inter- 

**  Memorandum  from  Wannall  to  W.  C.  Sullivan,  12/22/66. 

*''  See  Finding  on  Political  Abuse,  p.  233. 

^  Electronic  Surveillance  Report :  Sec.  II,  "Presidential  and  Attorney  General 

~  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  6/26/62. 

^'^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General  6/29/61 ;  memo- 
randum from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General  7/31/62 ;  memorandum 
from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General  4/19/65  ;  memorandum  from  J.  Ed- 
gar Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General  6/4/69 ;  memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover 
to  the  Attorney  General  9/10/69 ;  letter  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover 


cept  the  international  communications  of  American  citizens,  without  a 
warrant,  at  the  request  of  other  federal  agencies. 

Under  current  practice,  NSA  does  not  target  any  American  citizen 
or  firm  for  the  purpose  of  intercepting  their  foreign  communications. 
As  a  result  of  monitoring  international  links  of  coimnunication,  how- 
ever, it  does  acquire  an  enormous  number  of  communications  to,  from, 
or  about  American  citizens  and  firms.^^ 

As  a  practical  matter,  most  of  the  communications  of  American  citi- 
zens or  firms  acquired  by  NSA  as  incidental  to  its  foreign  intelligence- 
gathering  process  are  destroyed  upon  recognition  as  a  communication 
to  or  from  an  American  citizen.  But  other  such  communications,  which 
bear  upon  NSA's  foreign  intelligence  requirements,  are  processed,  and 
information  obtained  from  them  are  used  in  NSA's  reports  to  other 
intelligence  agencies.  Current  practice  precludes  NSA  from  identify- 
ing American  citizens  and  firms  by  name  in  such  reports.  Nonetheless, 
the  practice  does  result  in  NSA's  disseminating  information  derived 
from  the  international  communications  of  American  citizens  and  firms 
to  the  intelligence  agencies  and  policymakers  in  the  federal 

In  his  dissent  in  Ohnstead  v.  United  Sfates^^^  which  held  that  the 
Fourth  Amendment  warrant  requirement  did  not  apply  to  the  seizure 
of  conversations  by  means  of  wiretapping.  Justice  Louis  D.  Brandeis 
expressed  grave  concern  that  new  technologies  might  outstrip  the 
ability  of  the  Constitution  to  protect  American  citizens.  He  wrote : 

Subtler  and  more  far-reaching  means  of  invading  privacy 
have  become  available  to  the  government  .  .  .  (and)  the  prog- 
ress of  science  in  furnishing  the  Government  with  means  of 
espionage  is  not  likely  to  stop  with  wiretapping.  Ways  may 
some  day  be  developed  by  which  the  Government,  without 
removing  papers  from  secret  drawers,  can  reproduce  them  in 
court,  and  by  which  it  will  be  enabled  to  expose  to  a  jury  the 
most  intimate  occurrences  of  the  home  ....  Can  it  be  that  the 
Constitution  affords  no  protection  against  such  invasions  of 
individual  security  ? 

The  question  posed  by  Justice  Brandeis  applies  with  obvious  force  to 
the  technological  developments  that  allow  NSA  to  monitor  an  enor- 
mous number  of  communications  each  year.  His  fears  were  firmly 
based,  for  in  fact  no  warrant  was  ever  obtained  for  the  inclusion  of 
1200  American  citizens  on  NSA's  "Watch  List"  between  the  early 
1960s  and  1973,  and  none  is  obtained  today  for  the  dissemination  with- 
in the  intelligence  community  of  information  derived  from  the  inter- 
national communications  of  American  citizens  and  firms.  In  the  face 
of  this  new  technology,  it  is  well  to  remember  the  answer  Justice 
Brandeis  gave  to  his  OAvn  question.  Quoting  from  Boyd  v.  United 
States,  116  U.S.  616,  he  wrote : 

It  is  not  the  breaking  of  his  doors,  and  the  rummaging  of  his 
drawers  that  constitutes  the  essense  of  the  offense;  but  it  is 
the  invasion  of  his  indefeasible  right  of  personal  security,  per- 
sonal liberty,  and  private  property  .  .  .^*^ 

^  NSA  has  long:  asserted  that  it  had  the  authority  to  do  this  so  long  as  one  of 
the  parties  'ro  such  commimipntion  was  located  in  a  foreign  country. 
^  277  U.S.  438,  473-474  (1928) . 
*"*  277  U.S.  at  474-475. 


D.  Mail  Opening 

By  ignoring  the  legal  prohibitions  against  warrantless  mail  open- 
ing, the  CIA  and  the  FBI  were  able  to  obtain  access  to  the  written  com- 
munications of  hundreds  of  thousands  of  individuals,  a  large  propor- 
tion of  whom  were  American  citizens.  The  intercepted  letters  were 
presumably  sealed  with  the  expectation  that  they  would  only  be 
opened  by  the  party  to  whom  they  were  addressed,  but  intelligence 
agents  in  ten  cities  throughout  the  United  States  surreptitiously 
opened  the  seal  and  photographed  the  entire  contents  for  inclusion  in 
their  intelligence  files. 

Mail  opening  is  an  imprecise  technique.  In  addition  to  relying  on 
a  "Watch  List"  of  names,  the  CIA  opened  vast  numbers  of  letters  on 
an  entirely  random  basis ;  as  one  agent  who  opened  mail  in  the  CIA's 
New  York  project  testified,  "You  never  knew  what  you  would  hit."  ^^ 
Given  the  imprecision  of  the  technique  and  the  large  quantity  of  cor- 
respondence that  was  opened,  it  is  perhaps  not  surprising  that  during 
the  twenty  year  course  of  the  Agency's  New  York  project,  the  mail 
that  was  randomly  opened  included  that  of  at  least  three  United 
States  Senators  and  a  Congressman,  one  Presidential  Candidate,  and 
numerous  educational,  business,  and  ciWl  rights  leaders.^^ 

Several  of  the  FBI  pix)grams  utilized  as  selection  criteria  certain 
"indicatore"  on  the  outside  of  envelopes  that  suggested  that  the  com- 
munication mig'ht  be  to  or  from  a  foreign  espionage  agent.  These 
"indicatoi's"  Avere  more  refined  than  the  "shotgim  approach"  ^^  which 
characterized  the  CIA's  New  York  project,  and  they  did  lead  to  the 
identification  of  three  foreign  spies.^^  But  even  by  the  Bureau's  own 
accounting,  it  is  clear  that  the  mail  of  hundreds  of  innocent  American 
Citizens  was  opened  and  read  for  every  successful  counterintelligence 
lead  that  was  obtained  by  means  of  "indicators."  ^^ 

Large  volumes  of  mail  were  also  intercepted  and  opened  in  other 
FBI  mail  programs  that  were  based  not  on  indicators  but  on  far  less 
precise  criteria.  Two  programs  that  involved  the  opening  of  mail  to 
and  from  an  Asian  country,  for  example,  used  "letters  to  or  from  a 
university,  scientific,  or  technical  facility"  as  one  selection  criterion.^"" 
According  to  FBI  memoranda,  an  average  of  50  to  100  letters  per  day 
was  opened  and  photographed  during  the  ten  years  in  which  one  of 
these  two  programs  operated.^°^ 

*"  "CIA  Officer"  testimony,  9/30/75,  p.  15. 

®*  Staff  summary  of  "Master  Index."  review,  9/5/75. 

*^James  Angelton  testimony,  9/17/75,  p.  28. 

"^  Wannall.  10/21/75,  p.  5. 

**  In  one  of  the  programs  based  on  "indicators"  a  participating  agent  testified 
that  he  opened  30  to  60  letters  each  day.  (FBI  agent  statement,  9/10/75,  p.  23.)  In 
a  second  such  program,  a  total  of  1.011  letters  were  opened  in  one  of  the  six  cities 
in  which  it  operated ;  statistics  on  the  number  of  letters  opened  in  the  other 
five  cities  cannot  be  reconstructed.  (W.  Raymond  Wannall  testimony.  10/21/75, 
p.  5. )  In  a  third  such  project.  2.350  letters  were  opened  in  one  city  and  statistics 
for  the  other  two  cities  in  which  it  operated  are  unavailable.  (Memorandum  from 
W.  A.  Branisran  to  "W.  C.  Sullivan,  8/31/61 ;  Memorandum  from  Mr.  Branigan 
to  Mr.  Sullivan.  12/21/61 ;  memorandum  from  New  York  Field  OflSce  to  FBI 
Headquarters,  3A5/62.) 

"^  Letter  from  the  FBI  to  the  Senate  Select  Committee.  10/29/75.  Six  other 
criteria  were  used  in  these  programs.   See  Mail  Opening  Report,  Sec.  IV. 

"^  Memorandum  from  S.  B.  Donohoe  to  A.  H.  Belmont.  2/23/61 :  Memorandum 
from  San  Francisco  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  3/11/60.  Statistics  relat- 
ing to  the  number  of  letters  opened  in  the  other  program  which  used  this  cri- 
terion cannot  be  reconstructed. 


E.  Surreptitious  Entries 

Surreptitious  entries,  conducted  in  violation  of  the  law,  have  also 
permitted  intelligence  agencies  to  galther  a  wide  range  of  information 
about  American  citizens  and  domestic  organization  as  well  as  foreign 
targets.^"^  By  definition  this  technique  involves  a  physical  entry  into 
the  private  premises  of  individuals  and  groups.  Once  intelligence 
agents  are  inside,  no  "papers  or  effects"  are  secure.  As  the  Huston 
Plan  recommendations  stated  in  1970,  "It  amounts  to  burglary."  ^"^ 

The  most  private  documents  are  rendered  vulnerable  by  the  use  of 
surreptitious  entries.  According  to  a  1966  internal  FBI  memorandum, 
which  discusses  the  use  of  this  technique  against  domestic 
organizations : 

[The  FBI  has]  on  numerous  occasions  been  able  to  obtain 
material  held  highly  secret  and  closely  guarded  by  subversive 
groups  and  organizations  which  consisted  of  membership 
lists  and  mailing  lists  of  these  organizations.^"* 

A  specific  example  cited  in  this  memorandum  also  reveals  the  types 
of  information  that  this  technique  can  collect  and  the  uses  to  which 
the  information  thus  collected  may  be  put : 

Through  a  "black  bag"  job,  we  obtained  the  records  in  the 
possession  of  three  high-ranking  officials  of  a  Klan  organiza- 
tion. ,  .  .  These  records  gave  us  the  complete  membership 
and  financial  information  concerning  the  Klan's  operation 
which  we  have  been  using  most  effectively  to  disrupt  the 
organization  and,  in  fact,  to  bring  about  its  near 
disintegration.  ^°^ 

Unlike  techniques  such  as  electronic  surveillance,  government 
entries  into  private  premises  were  familiar  to  the  Founding  Fathers. 
"Indeed,"  Judge  Gesell  wrote  in  the  Ehrllchmmi  case,  "the  American 
Revolution  was  sparked  in  part  by  the  complaints  of  the  colonists 
against  the  issuance  of  writs  of  assistance,  pursuant  to  which  the  King's 
revenue  officers  conducted  unrestricted,  indiscriminate  searches  of 
persons  and  homes  to  uncover  contraband."  '^°^  Recognition  of  the 
intrusiveness  of  government  break-ins  was  one  of  the  primary  reasons 

"*  According  to  the  FBI,  "there  were  at  least  239  surreptitious  entries  (for 
purposes  other  than  microphone  installation)  conducted  against  at  least  fifteen 
domestic  subversive  targets  from  1942  to  April  196S.  ...  In  addition,  at  least 
three  domestic  subversive  targets  were  the  subject  of  numerous  entries  from 
October  1952  to  June  1966."  (FBI  memorandum  to  the  Senate  Select  Committee, 
10/13/76.)  One  target,  the  Socialist  Workers  Party,  was  the  subject  of  possibly 
as  many  as  92  break-ins  by  the  FBI,  between  1960  and  1966  alone.  The  home  of 
at  least  one  SWP  member  was  also  apparently  broken  into.  (Sixth  Supplementary 
Response  to  Requests  for  Production  of  Documents  of  Defendant,  Director  of 
the  FBI,  Socialist  Workers  Party  v.  Attorney  General,  73  Civ.  3160,  (SDNY), 
3/24/76.)  An  entry  against  one  "white  hate  group"  was  also  reported  by  the 
FBI.  (Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  the  Senate  Select  Committee, 

^•"Memorandum  from  Tom  Huston  to  H.  R.  Haldeman,  7/70,  p.  3. 

"*  Memorandum  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  C.  D.  DeLoach,  7/19/66. 

"'  Ibid. 

^^  United  States  v.  Ehrlicliman,  376  F.  Supp.  29,  32  (D.D.C.  1974). 


for  the  subsequent  adoption  of  the  Fourth  Amendment  in  1791,^°^  and 
this  technique  is  certainly  no  less  intrusive  today. 

Sub  funding  (c) 

The  imprecision  and  manipulation  of  labels  such  as  "national  se- 
curity," "domestic  security,"  "subversive  activities"  and  "foreign  in- 
telligence" have  led  to  unjustified  use  of  these  techniques. 

Using  labels  such  as  "national  security"  and  "foreign  intelligence", 
intelligence  agencies  have  directed  these  highly  intrusive  techniques 
against  individuals  and  organizations  who  were  suspected  of  no 
criminal  activity  and  who  posed  no  genuine  threat  to  the  national 
security.  In  the  absence  of  precise  standards  and  effective  outside 
control,  the  selection  of  American  citizens  as  targets  has  at  times  been 
predicated  on  grounds  no  more  substantial  than  their  lawful  protests 
or  their  non-conformist  philosophies.  Almost  any  connection  with  any 
perceived  danger  to  the  country  has  sufficed. 

The  application  of  the  "national  security"  rationale  to  cases  lacking 
a  substantial  national  security  basis  has  been  most  apparent  in  the 
area  of  warrantless  electronic  surveillance.  Indeed,  the  unjustified  use 
of  wiretaps  and  bugs  under  this  and  related  labels  has  a  long  history. 
Among  the  wiretaps  approved  by  Attorney  General  Francis  Biddle 
under  the  standard  of  "persons  suspected  of  subversive  activities,"  for 
example,  was  one  on  the  Los  Angeles  Chamber  of  Commerce  in  1941.^°^ 
This  was  approved  in  spite  of  his  comment  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover  that  the 
target  organization  had  "no  record  of  espionage  at  this  time."  ^°^ 
In  1945,  Attorney  General  Tom  Clark  authorized  a  wiretap  on  a 
former  aide  to  President  Roosevelt.""  According  to  a  memorandum 
by  J.  Edgar  Hoover,  Clark  stated  that  President  Truman  wanted  "a 
very  thorough  investigation"  of  the  activities  of  the  former  official  so 
that  "steps  might  be  taken,  if  possible,  to  see  that  [his]  activities  did 
not  interfere  with  the  proper  administration  of  government."  "^ 
The  memorandum  makes  no  reference  to  "subversive  activities"  or 
any  other  national  security  considerations. 

The  "Sugar  Lobby"  and  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr.,  wiretaps  in  the 
early  1960s  both  show  the  elasticity  of  the  "domestic  security"  stand- 
ard which  supplemented  President  Roosevelt's  "subversive  activities" 
formulation.  Among  those  wiretapped  in  the  Sugar  Lobby  investiga- 
tion, as  noted  above,  was  a  Congressional  staff  aide.  Yet  the  documen- 
tary record  of  this  investigation  reveals  no  evidence  indicating  that 
the  target  herself  represented  any  threat  to  the  "domestic  security." 
Similarly,  while  the  FBI  may  properly  have  been  concerned  with  the 
activities  of  certain  advisors  to  Dr.  King,  the  direct  wiretapping  of 
Dr.  King  shows  that  the  "domestic  security"  standard  could  be 
stretched  to  unjustified  lengths. 

The  microphone  surveillances  of  Congressman  Cooley  and  Dr.  King 
under  the  "national  interest"  standard  established  by  Attorney  Gen- 
eral Brownell  in  1954  also  reveal  the  relative  ease  with  which  elec- 
tronic bugging  devices  could  be  used  against  American  citizens  who 

'*"  See.  e.g..  Olm.9tead  v.  ZTnited  States.  277  U.S.  438,  (1928). 
^"^  Memorandum  from  Francis  Biddle  to  Mr.  Hoover,  11/19/41. 
^■^  Ibid. 

""  Unaddressed    Memorandum    from    J.    Edsrar   Hoover,    11/15/45,    found   in 
Director  Hoover's  "OflScial  and  Confidential"  files. 
^^  Ibid. 


posed  no  genuine  "national  security"  threat.  Neither  of  these  targets 
advocated  or  engaged  in  any  conduct  that  was  damaging  to  the 
security  of  the  United  States. 

In  April,  1964,  Attorney  General  Robert  Kennedy  approved  "tech- 
nical coverage  (electronic  surveillance)"  of  a  black  nationalist  leader 
after  the  FBI  advised  Kennedy  that  he  was  "forming  a  new  group" 
which  would  be  "more  aggressive"  and  would  "participate  in  racial 
demonstrations  and  civil  rights  activities."  The  only  indication  of 
possible  danger  noted  in  the  FBI's  request  for  the  wiretaps,  however, 
was  that  this  leader  had  "recommended  the  possession  of  firearms  by 
members  for  their  self-protection."^ 

One  year  later,  Attorney  General  Nicholas  Katzenbach  approved  a 
wiretap  on  the  offices  of  the  Student  Non-Violent  Coordinating  Com- 
mittee on  the  basis  of  potential  communist  infiltration  into  that  organi- 
zation. The  request  which  was  sent  to  the  Attorney  General  noted  that 
"confidential  informants"  described  SNCC  as  "Ihe  principal  target 
for  Communist  Party  infiltration  among  the  various  civil  rights 
organizations"  and  stated  that  some  of  its  leaders  had  "made  public 
appearances  with  leaders  of  communist-front  organizations"  and  had 
"subversive  backgrounds."  "^  The  FBI  presented  no  substantial  evi- 
dence however,  that  SNCC  was  in  fact  infiltrated  by  communists — only 
that  the  organization  was  apparently  a  target  for  such  infiltration  in 
the  future. 

After  the  Justice  Department  adopted  new  criteria  for  the  institu- 
tion of  warrantless  electronic  surveillance  in  1968,  the  unjustified  use 
of  wiretaps  continued.  In  November  1969,  Attorney  General  John 
Mitchell  approved  a  series  of  three  wiretaps  on  organizations  involved 
in  planning  the  antiwar  "March  on  Washington."  The  FBI's  request 
for  coverage  of  the  first  group  made  no  claim  that  its  members  en- 
gaged or  were  likely  to  engage  in  violent  activity:  the  request  was 
simply  based  on  the  statement  that  the  anticipated  size  of  the  dem- 
onstration was  cause  for  "concern  should  violence  of  anv  tvpe  break 
out."  "* 

The  only  additional  justification  given  for  the  wiretap  on  one  of  the 
other  groups,  the  Vietnam  Moratorium  Committee,  was  that  it  "has 
recently  endorsed  fully  the  activities  of  the  [first  group]  concerning 
the  upcoming  antiwar  demonstrations."  ^^^ 

In  1970,  approval  for  a  wiretap  on  a  "New  Left  oriented  campus 
group"  was  granted  by  Attorney  General  Mitchell  on  the  basis  of  an 
FBI  request  which  included,  among  other  factors  deemed  relevant  to 
the  necessity  for  the  wiretap,  evidence  that  the  group  was  attempting 
"to  develop  strong  ties  with  the  cafeteria,  maintenance  and  other 
workers  on  campus"  and  wanted  to  "go  into  industry  and  factories 
and  . . .  take  the  radical  politics  they  learned  on  the  campus  and  spread 
them  among  factory  workers."  ^^® 

^"^  Memorandum  from  J.  Ed^ar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General.  4/1/64. 

"*  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General.  6/15/6.5. 

"*  Memorandum  from  .T.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General.  11/5/69. 
"^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Attorney  General  Mitchell.  11/7/69. 

'"  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  3/16/70.  The 
strongest  evidence  that  this  group's  conduct  was  inimical  to  the  national  security 
was  reported  as  follows  : 

"The  [group]  is  dominated  and  controlled  hy  the  pro-Chinese  Marxist  Leninist 
(excised).  . .  . 

"In  carrying  out  the  Marxist-Leninist  ideology  of  the  (excised)  members  have 
repeatedly  sought  to  become  involved  in  labor  disputes  on  the  side  of  labor,  join 


This  approval  was  renewed  three  months  later  despite  the  fact  that 
the  request  for  renewal  made  no  mention  of  violent  or  illegal  activity 
by  the  group.  The  value  of  the  wiretap  was  shown,  according  to  the 
FBI,  by  such  results  as  obtaining  "the  identities  of  over  600  persons 
either  in  touch  with  the  national  headquarters  or  associated  with"  it 
during  the  preceding  three  months.^^"  Six  months  after  the  original 
authorization  the  number  of  persons  so  identified  had  increased  to 
1,428 ;  and  approval  was  granted  for  a  third  three-month  period."  ^^^ 

The  "seventeen  wiretaps"  also  show  how  the  term  "national  secu- 
rity" as  a  justification  for  wiretapping  can  obscure  improper  use  of 
this  technique.  Shortly  after  these  wiretaps  were  revealed  publicly, 
President  Nixon  stated  they  had  been  justified  by  the  need  to  prevent 
leaks  of  classified  information  harmful  to  the  national  security.^^^ 

Wiretaps  for  this  purpose  had,  in  fact,  been  authorized  under  the 
Kennedy  and  Johnson  administrations.  President  Nixon  learned  of 
these  and  other  prior  taps  and,  at  a  news  conference,  sought  to  justify 
the  taps  he  had  authorized  by  referring  to  past  precedent.  He  stated 
that  in  the : 

period  of  1961  to  '63  there  were  wiretaps  on  news  organiza- 
tions, on  news  peoj^le,  on  civil  rights  leaders  and  on  other 
people.  xAjid  I  think  they  were  perfectly  justified  and  I'm 
sure  that  President  Kennedy  and  his  brother,  Robert  Ken- 
nedy, would  never  have  authorized  them,  unless  he  thought 
they  were  in  the  national  interest.  (Presidential  News  Con- 
ference, 8/22/73.) 

Thus,  questionable  electronic  sur^^eillances  by  earlier  administra- 
tions were  put  forward  as  a  defense  for  improper  surveillances  ex- 
posed in  1973.  In  fact,  however,  two  of  these  wiretaps  were  placed  on 
domestic  affairs  advisers  at  the  White  House  wlio  had  no  foi'eign 
affairs  responsibilities  and  apparently  no  access  to  classified  foreign 
policy  materials.^^^  A  third  target  was  a  "Wliite  House  speech  writer 
who  had  been  overheard  on  an  existing  tap  agreeing  to  provide  a  re- 
porter with  background  information  on  a  Presidential  speech  con- 

picket  lines  and  engage  in  disruptive  and  sometimes  violent  tactics  against  indus- 
try recruiters  on  college  campuses. . . . 

"This  faction  is  currently  very  active  in  many  of  the  major  demonstrations  and 
student  violence  on  college  campuses.  .  .  ."  (Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover 
to  the  Attorney  General,  3/16/70.  The  excised  words  have  been  deleted  bv  the 

'"  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  6/16/70.  Th*^ 
only  other  results  noted  by  Hoover  related  to  the  fact  that  the  wiretap  had 
"obtained  information  concerning  the  activities  of  the  national  headquarters  of 
[the  group  and]  plans  for  [the  group's]  support  and  participation  in  demon- 
strations supporting  antiwar  groups  and  the  (excised)."  It  was  also  noted  that 
the  wiretap  "revealed  .  .  .  contacts  with  Canadian  student  elements". 

'"  ^Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General,  9/16/70.  The 
only  other  results  noted  by  Hoover  again  related  to  obtaining  information  about 
the  "plans  and  activities"  of  the  group.  Specifically  mentioned  were  the  "plans 
for  the  Xationnl  Interim  Committee  (ruling  Itody  of  [excised])  meeting  which 
took  place  in  New  York  and  Chicago",  and  the  plans  "for  demonstrations  at 
San  Francisco.  Detroit,  Salt  Lake  City,  Minneapolis,  and  Chicago."  There  was  no 
indication  that  these  demonstrations  were  expected  to  be  violent.  (The  excised 
words  have  lieen  deleted  by  the  FBI) . 

"^  Public  statement  of  President  Nixon,  .5/22/73. 

'^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  General  7/23/69 ; 
memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  the  Attorney  GJeneral  12/14/70. 


ceming  domestic  revenue  sharing  and  welfare  reform.^^^  The 
reinstatement  of  another  wiretap  in  this  series  was  requested  by  H.  R. 
Haldeman  simply  because  "they  may  have  a  bad  apple  and  have  to 
get  him  out  of  the  basket,"  ^"^  The  last  four  requests  in  this  series 
that  were  sent  to  the  Attorney  General  (including  the  requests  for  a 
tap  on  the  "bad  apple")  did  not  mention  any  national  security  justifi- 
cation at  all.  As  former  Deputy  Attorney  General  William  Ruckels- 
haus  has  testified : 

I  think  some  of  the  individuals  who  were  tapped,  at  least  to 
the  extent  I  have  reviewed  the  record,  had  very  little,  if  any, 
relationship  to  any  claim  of  national  security  .  ,  ,  I  think 
that  as  the  program  proceeded  and  it  became  clear  to  those 
who  could  sign  off  on  taps  how  easy  it  was  to  institute  a  wire- 
tap under  the  present  procedure  that  these  kinds  of  considera- 
tions [i.e,,  genuine  national  security  justifications]  were  con- 
siderably relaxed  as  the  program  went  on,^^* 

None  of  the  "seventeen"  wiretaps  was  ever  reauthorized  by  the 
Attorney  General,  although  10  of  them  remained  in  operation  for 
periods  longer  than  90  days  and  although  President  Nixon  himself 
stated  privately  that  "[t]he  tapping  was  a  very,  very  unproductive 
thing  , . .  it's  never  been  useful  to  any  operation  I've  conducted  .  .  ."  ^^^ 

In  short,  warrantless  electronic  surveillance  has  been  defended  on  the 
ground  that  it  was  essential  for  the  national  security,  but  the  history 
of  the  use  of  this  technique  clearly  shows  that  the  imprecision  and 
manipulation  of  this  and  similar  labels,  coupled  with  the  absence  of 
any  outside  scrutiny,  has  led  to  its  improper  use  against  American 
citizens  who  posed  no  criminal  or  national  security  threat  to  the 
count  ry,^^® 

Similarly,  the  terms  "foreign  intelligence"  and  "counterespionage" 
were  used  by  the  CIA  and  the  FBI  to  justify  their  cooperation  in  the 
CIA's  New  York  mail  opening  project,  but  this  project  was  also  used  to 
target  entirely  innocent  American  citizens. 

As  noted  above,  the  CIA  compiled  a  "Watch  List"  of  names  of  per- 
sons and  organizations  whose  mail  was  to  be  opened  if  it  passed  through 
the  New  York  facility.  In  the  early  days  of  the  project,  the  names 
on  this  list — which  then  numbered  fewer  than  twentv — miffht  reason- 

^  Memorandum  from  W.  C.  Sullivan  to  C.  D.  DeLoach,  8/1/69. 

^  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Messrs.  Tolson,  Sullivan  and  D.  C. 
Brennan.  10/15/70. 

"*  Ruckelshaus  testimony  before  the  Senate  Subcommittee  on  Administrative 
Practice  and  Procedure.  5/9/74,  pp.  311-12. 

^Transcript  of  the  Presidential  Tapes,  2/28/73  (House  Judiciary  Committee 
Statement  of  Information  Book  VII,  Part  W,  p.  17.54.) 

^  The  term  "national  security"  was  also  used  by  John  Ehrlichman  and  Charles 
Colson  to  .instify  their  roles  in  the  break-in  of  Dr.  Fielding's  office  in  1971.  A 
March  21,  1973  tape  recording  of  a  meeting  between  President  Nixon.  .John  Dean, 
and  H.  R.  Haldeman  suggests,  however,  that  the  national  security  "justification" 
may  have  been  developed  long  after  the  event  for  the  purpose  of  obscuring  its  im- 
propriety. When  the  President  asked  what  could  be  done  if  the  break-in  was 
revealed  publicly.  John  Dean  suggested,  "You  might  put  it  on  a  national  security 
grounds  basis."  Later  in  the  conversation.  President  Nixon  stated  "With  the 
bombing  thing  coming  out  and  everything  coming  out.  the  whole  thing  was 
national  security,"  and  Dean  said,  "I  think  we  could  get  by  on  that."  (Transcript 
of  Presidential  tapes,  3/21/73. ) 


ably  have  been  expected  to  lead  to  genuine  foreign  intelligence  or 
counterintelligence  information.  But  as  the  project  developed,  the 
Watch  List  grew  and  its  focus  changed.  By  the  late  1060s  there  were 
approximately  600  names  on  the  list,  many  of  them  American  citizens 
and  organizations  who  were  engaged  in  purely  lawful  and  consti- 
tutionally protected  forms  of  protest  against  governmental  policies. 
Among  the  domestic  organizations  on  the  Watch  List,  which  was 
supplemented  by  submissions  from  the  FBI,  were :  Clergy  and  Laymen 
Concerned  about  Vietnam,  the  National  Mobilization  Committee  to 
End  the  War  in  Vietnam,  Rmnparts^  the  Student  Non-Violent  Coordi- 
nating Committee,  the  Center  for  the  Study  of  Public  Policy,  and  the 
American  Friends  Service  Committee.^^^ 

The  FBI  levied  more  general  requirements  on  the  CIA's  project  as 
well.  The  focus  of  the  original  categories  of  correspondence  in  which 
the  FBI  expressed  an  interest  was  clearly  foreign  counterespionage, 
but  subsequent  requirements  became  progressively  more  domestic  in 
their  focus  and  progressively  broader  in  their  scope.  The  requirements 
that  were  levied  by  the  FBI  in  1972,  one  year  before  the  termination  of 
the  project,  included  the  following : 

". . .  [pjersons  on  the  Watch  List;  known  communists,  New 
Left  activists,  extremists,  and  other  subversives  .  .  . 

Communist  party  and  front  organizations  . . .  extremist  and 
New  Left  organizations. 

Protest  and  peace  organizations,  such  as  People's  Coalition 
for  Peace  and  Justice,  National  Peace  Action  Committee,  and 
Women's  Strike  for  Peace. 

Communists,  Trotskyites  and  members  of  other  Marxist- 
Leninist,  subversive  and  extremist  groups,  such  as  the  Black 
Nationalists  and  Liberation  groups  .  .  .  Students  for  a  Demo- 
cratic Society  . . .  and  other  New  Left  groups. 

Traffic  to  and  from  Puerto  Rico  and  the  Virgin  Islands 
showing  anti-U.S.  or  subversive  sympathies."  ^^^ 

This  final  set  of  requirements  evidently  reflected  the  domestic  turmoil 
of  the  late  1960s  and  early  1970s.  The  mail  opening  program  that  began 
as  a  means  of  collecting  foreign  intelligence  information  and  dis- 
covering Soviet  intelligence  efforts  in  the  United  States  had  expanded 
to  encompass  detection  of  the  activities  of  domestic  dissidents  of  all 

In  the  absence  of  effective  outside  control,  highly  intrusive  tech- 
niques have  been  used  to  gather  vast  amounts  of  information  about  the 
entirely  lawful  activities — and  privately  held  beliefs — -of  large  num- 
bers of  American  citizens.  The  very  intrusiveness  of  these  techniques 
demands  the  utmost  circumspection  in  their  use.  But  with  vague  or 
non-existent  standards  to  guide  them,  and  with  labels  such  as  "national 
security"  and  "foreign  intelligence"  to  shield  them,  executive  branch 
officials  have  been  all  too  willing  to  unleash  these  techniques  against 
American  citizens  with  little  or  no  legitimate  justification. 

"^  Staff  summary  of  Watch  List  review,  9/5/75. 

"*  Routing  slip  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  James  Angelton  {attachment) ,  3/10/72. 

-786  O  -  76  -  15 


Major  Finding 

The  Committee  finds  that  covert  action  proo;rams  have  been  used  to 
disrupt  the  lawful  political  activities  of  individual  Americans  and 
groups  and  to  discredit  them,  using  dangerous  and  degrading  tactics 
which  are  abhorrent  in  a  free  and  decent  society. 


(a)  Although  the  claimed  purposes  of  these  action  programs  were 
to  protect  the  national  security  and  to  prevent  violence,  many  of  the 
victims  were  concededly  nonviolent,  were  not  controlled  by  a  foreign 
power,  and  posed  no  threat  to  the  national  security. 

(b)  The  acts  taken  interfered  with  the  First  Amendment  rights  of 
citizens.  They  were  explicitly  intended  to  deter  citizens  from  joining 
groups,  "neutralize"  those  who  were  already  members,  and  prevent 
or  inhibit  the  expression  of  ideas. 

(c)  The  tactics  used  against  Americans  often  risked  and  some- 
times caused  serious  emotional,  economic,  or  physical  damage.  Actions 
were  taken  which  were  designed  to  break  up  marriages,  terminate 
funding  or  employment,  and  encourage  gang  warfare  between  violent 
rival  groups.  Due  process  of  law  forbids  the  use  of  such  covert  tactics, 
whether  the  victims  are  innocent  law-abiding  citizens  or  members  of 
groups  suspected  of  involvement  in  violence. 

,(d)  The  sustained  use  of  such  tactics  by  the  FBI  in  an  attempt  to 
destroy  Dr.  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr.,  violated  the  law  and  funda- 
mental human  decency. 

Elaboration  of  the  Findings 

For  fifteen  years  from  1956  until  1971,  the  FBI  carried  out  a  series 
of  covert  action  programs  directed  against  American  citizens.^ 
These  "counterintelligence  programs"  (shortened  to  the  acronym 
COINTELPRO)  resulted  in  part  from  frustration  with  Supreme 
Court  rulings  limiting  the  Government's  power  to  proceed  overtly 
against  dissident  groups.^ 

^  Before  1956  the  FBI  engjaeed  in  activities  to  disrupt  and  discredit  Communists 
and  (before  "World  War  II)  Fascists,  but  not  as  part  of  a  formal  program.  The 
Bureau  is  the  only  agency  which  carried  on  a  sustained  effort  to  "neutralize" 
domestic  groups,  althoiish  other  agencies  made  sporadic  attempts  to  disrupt  dis- 
sident groups.  (See  Military  Surveillance  Report ;  IRS  Report.) 

^  The  Bureau  personnel  involved  in  COINTELPRO  link  the  first  formal  coun- 
terintelligence program,  against  the  Communist  Party.  USA.  to  the  Supreme 
Court  reversal  of  the  Smith  Act  convictions,  which  "made  it  impossible  to  prose- 
cute Communist  Party  members  at  the  time".  (COINTELPRO  imit  chief, 
10/16/75,  p.  14.)  It  should  be  noted,  however,  that  the  Court's  reversal  occurred 
in  1957.  the  year  after  the  program  was  instituted.  This  belief  in  the  deficiencies 
of  the  law  was  a  major  factor  in  the  four  subsequent  programs  as  well :  "The 
other  COINTELPRO  programs  were  opened  as  the  threat  arose  in  areas  of 
extremism  and  subversion  and  there  were  not  adequate  statutes  to  proceed 
against  the  organization  or  to  prevent  their  activities."  (COINTELPRO  Unit 
Chief,  10/16/75,  p.  15.) 



They  ended  formally  in  1971  with  the  threat  of  public  exposure.^ 
Some  of  the  findings  discussed  herein  are  related  to  the  findings  on 
lawlessness,  overbreadth,  and  intrusive  techniques  previously  set 
forth.  Some  of  the  most  offensive  actions  in  the  FBI's  COINTEL 
PRO  programs  (anonymous  letters  intended  to  break  up  marriages,  or 
efforts  to  deprive  people  of  their  jobs,  for  example)  were  based  upon 
the  covert  use  of  information  obtained  through  overly-broad  inves- 
tigations and  intrusive  techniques.*  Similarly,  as  noted  above,  COIN- 
TELPRO  involved  specific  violations  of  law,  and  the  law  and  the 
Constitution  were  "not  [given]  a  thought"  under  the  FBI's  policies.^ 

But  COIXTELPRO  was  more  than  simply  violating  the  law  or 
the  Constitution.  In  COINTELPRO  the  Bureau  secretly «  took  the 
law  into  its  own  hands,  going  beyond  the  collection  of  intelligence  and 
beyond  its  law  enforcement  function  to  act  outside  the  legal  process 
altogether  and  to  covertly  disrupt,  discredit  and  harass  groups  and 
individuals.  A  law  enforcement  agency  must  not  secretly  usurp  the 
functions  of  judge  and  jury,  even  when  the  investigation  reveals  crim- 
inal activity.  But  in  COINTELPRO,  the  Bureau  imposed  summary 
punishment,  not  only  on  the  allegedly  \aolent,  but  also  on  the  non- 
violent advocates  of  change.  Such  action  is  the  hallmark  of  the  vig- 
ilante and  has  no  place  in  a  democratic  society. 

Under  COINTELPRO,  certain  techniques  the  Bureau  had  used 
against  hostile  foreign  agents  were  adopted  for  use  against  perceived 
domestic  threats  to  the  established  political  and  social  order.^ 

Some  of  the  targets  of  COINTELPRO  were  law-abiding  citizens 
merely  advocating  change  in  our  society.  Other  targets  were  members 

*  For  further  information  on  the  termination  of  each  of  the  programs,  see  The 
Accountability  and  Control  Findings,  p.  265  and  the  detailed  reports  on  the  Black 
Panther  Party  and  COINTELPRO. 

Although  the  programs  have  been  formally  terminated,  Bureau  witnesses 
agree  that  there  is  a  "grey  area"  between  "counter-intelligence"  and  investiga- 
tive activities  which  are  inherently  disruptive.  These  investigative  activities 
continue.  ( See  COINTELPRO  Report :  "Command  and  Control— The  Problems  of 

*  Information  gained  from  electronic  surveillance,  informant  coverage,  bur- 
glaries, and  confidential  financial  records  was  used  in  COINTELPRO. 

p.  275.) 

=  Moore,  11/3/75,  p.  83. 

*  Field  oflSces  were  instructed  that  no  one  outside  the  Bureau  was  to  know 
that  COINTELPRO  existed,  although  certain  persons  in  the  executive  branch 
and  in  Congress  were  told  about — and  did  not  object  to — efforts  to  disrupt  the 
CPUSA  and  the  Klan.  However,  no  one  was  told  about  the  other  COINTELPRO 
programs,  or  about  the  more  dangerous  and  degrading  techniques  employed.  ( See 
p.  275.) 

^  As  the  Chief  of  the  Racial  Intelligence  Section  put  it : 

"You  can  trace  [the  origin.s  of  COINTELPRO]  up  and  back  to  foreign  intel- 
ligence, particularly  perretration  of  the  group  by  the  individual  informant.  Be- 
fore you  can  engage  in  counterintelligence  you  must  have  intelligence.  ...  If 
you  have  good  intelligence  and  know  what  it's  going  to  do.  you  can  seed  distrust, 
sow  misinformation.  The  same  technique  is  used,  misinformation,  disruption, 
is  used  in  the  domestic  groups,  although  in  the  domestic  groups  you  are  dealing 
in  '67  and  '68  with  many,  many  more  across  the  country  .  .  .  than  you  had  ever 
dealt  with  as  far  as  your  foreign  groups."   (Moore,  11/3/75,  pp.  32-33.) 

Former  Assistant  Director  William  C.  Sullivan  atso  testified  that  the  "rough, 
tough,  dirty  business"  of  foreign  counterintelligence  was  "brought  home  against 
anv  organization  against  which  we  were  targeted.  We  did  not  differentiate." 
(Sullivan,  11/1/75,  pp.  97-98.) 


of  groups  that  had  been  involved  in  violence,  such  as  the  Ku  Klux 
Klan  or  the  Black  Panther  Party.  Some  victims  did  nothing  more  than 
associate  with  targets.^ 

The  Committee  does  not  condone  acts  of  violence,  but  the  response 
of  Government  to  allegations  of  illegal  conduct  must  comply  with  the 
due  process  of  law  demanded  by  the  Constitution.  Lawlessness  by 
citizens  does  not  justify  lawlessness  by  Government. 

The  tactics  which  were  employed  by  the  Bureau  are  therefore 
unacceptable,  even  against  the  alleged  criminal.  The  imprecision  of 
the  targeting  compounded  the  abuse.  Once  the  Government  decided 
to  take  the  law  into  its  own  hands,  those  unacceptable  tactics  came 
almost  inevitably  to  be  used  not  only  against  the  "kid  with  the  bomb" 
but  also  against  the  "kid  with  the  bumper  sticker."  ® 

Subfinding  {a) 

Although  the  claimed  purposes  of  these  action  programs  were 
to  protect  the  "national  security"  and  to  prevent  violence,  many  of 
the  victims  were  concededly  nonviolent,  were  not  controlled  by  a 
foreign  power,  and  posed  no  threat  to  the  "national  security." 

The  Bureau  conducted  five  "counterintelligence  programs"  aimed 
against  domestic  groups:  the  "Communist  Party,  USA"  program 
(1956-71);  the  "Socialist  Workers  Party"  program  (1961-69);  the 
"White  Hate"  program  (1964-1971)  ;  the  "Black  Nationalist-Hate 
Group"  program  (1967-71)  ;  and  the  "New  Left"  program  (1968-71). 

While  the  declared  purposes  of  these  programs  were  to  protect  the 
"national  security"  or  prevent  violence,  Bureau  witnesses  admit  that 
many  of  the  targets  were  nonviolent  and  most  had  no  connections 
with  a  foreign  power.  Indeed,  nonviolent  organizations  and  individ- 
uals were  targeted  because  the  Bureau  believed  they  represented  a 
"potential"  for  violence  ^°  and  nonviolent  citizens  who  were  against 
the  war  in  Vietnam  were  targeted  because  they  gave  "aid  and  comfort" 
to  violent  demonstrators  by  lending  respectability  to  their  cause.^^ 

The  imprecision  of  the  targeting  is  demonstrated  by  the  inability 
of  the  Bureau  to  define  the  subjects  of  the  programs.  The  Black 
Nationalist  program,  according  to  its  supervisor,  included  "a  great 
number  of  organizations  that  you  might  not  today  characterize  as 
black  nationalist  but  which  were  in  fact  primarily  black."  "  Thus,  the 
nonviolent  Southern  Christian  Leadership  Conference  was  labeled  as 
a  Black  Nationalist-"Hate  Group." 

Furthermore,  the  actual  targets  were  chosen  from  a  far  broader 
group  than  the  titles  of  the  programs  would  imply.  The  CPUSA 
program  targeted  not  only  Communist  Party  members  but  also  spon- 
sors of  the  National  Committee  to  Abolish  the  House  Un-American 

*  For  example,  parents  and  spouse,  of  targets  received  letters  containing  accu- 
sations of  immoral  conduct  by  the  target.  (Memorandum  from  St.  Louis  Field 
Office  to  FBI  Headquarters.  1/30/70;  memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to 
Minneapolis  Field  Office.  11/4/68.) 

*  Huston.  9/23/75.  Hearings,  Vol.  2,  p.  45. 
"  Moore,  11/8/75,  p.  37. 

"  New  I^ft  supervisor,  10/28/75,  p.  69. 

^  Black  Nationalist  Supervisor,  10/17/75,  p.  12. 


Activities  Committee  ^*  and  civil  rights  leaders  allegedly  under  Com- 
munist influence  or  not  deemed  to  be  "anti-Communist'\^^  The 
Socialist  Workers  Party  program  included  non-SWP  sponsors  of 
antiwar  demonstrations  which  were  cosponsored  by  the  SWP  or  the 
Young  Socialist  Alliance,  its  youth  group. ^^  The  Black  Nationalist 
program  targeted  a  range  of  organizations  from  the  Panthers  to 
SNCC  to  the  peaceful  Southern  Christian  Leadership  Conference,  and 
included  every  Black  Student  Union  and  many  other  black  student 
groups.^^  Xew  Left  targets  ranged  from  the  SDS  ^®  to  the  Inter- 
University  Committee  for  Debate  on  Foreign  Policy ,^^  from  Antioch 
College  (''vanguard  of  the  New  Left")  -°  to  the  New  jNIexico  Free 
University  and  other  "alternate"  schools,-^  and  from  underground 
newspapers  -  to  students  protesting  university  censorship  of  a  student 
publication  by  carrying  signs  with  four-letter  words  on  them.^'* 

S%ib-finding  (h) 

The  acts  taken  interfered  with  the  First  Amendment  rights  of  citi- 
zens. They  were  explicitly  intended  to  deter  citizens  from  joining 

^*  For  example,  the  entire  Unitarian  Society  of  Cleveland  was  targeted  because 
the  minister  and  some  members  circulated  a  petition  calling  for  the  abolition  of 
HUAC,  and  because  the  Church  gave  oflBce  space  to  the  "Citizens  for  Constitu- 
tional Rights".  (Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Cleveland  Field  OflBce, 
11/6/64. ) 

^  See  Finding  on  "Overbreadth"  p.  181. 

"  For  instance,  the  Bureau  targeted  two  non-member  students  who  partici- 
pated in  an  anti-war  "hunger  strike"  at  Oberlin.  which  was  "guided  and  directed" 
by  the  Young  Socialists  Alliance.  The  students"  parents  received  anonymous  let- 
ters, purportedly  from  a  friend  of  their  sons.  One  letter  expressed  concern  that  a 
group  of  "left  wing  students"  were  "cynically  using"  the  boy,  which  would  lead  to 
"injury"  to  his  health  and  "damage  to  his  academic  standing".  The  other  letter 
also  stated  that  it  was  motivated  by  concern  for  "damage"  to  the  student's 
"health  and  personal  future"  and  "the  belief  that  you  may  not  be  aware  of 
John's  current  involvement  in  left-wing  activities."  (Memorandum  from  FBI 
headquarters  to  Cleveland  Field  Office,  11/29/68. ) 

"  One  proposal  sought  to  expose  Black  Student  Union  Chapters  as  "breeding 
grounds  for  racial  militancy"  by  an  anonymous  mailing  to  "all  institutions  where 
there  are  BSU  chapters  or  incipient  chapters".  (Memorandum  from  Portland 
Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  6/3/68. ) 

^^  For  example  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  San  Antonio  Field 
Office,  10/31/68. 

"  An  anonymous  letter  was  sent  to  "influential"  Michigan  political  figures,  the 
mass  media.  University  of  Michigan  administrators,  and  the  Board  of  Regents, 
in  an  attempt  to  "discredit  and  neutralize"  the  "communist  activities"  of  the 
lUCDFP.  The  letter  decried  the  "undue  publicity"  given  anti-war  protest 
activities  which  "undoubtedly  give  'aid  and  comfort'  to  the  enemy"  and  encour- 
age the  Vietcong  and  the  North  Vietnamese  in  "refusing  to  come  to  the  bargain- 
ing table".  The  letter  continued,  "I  wonder  if  the  strategy  is  to  bleed  the  United 
States  white  by  prolonging  the  war  in  Vietnam  and  pave  the  way  for  a  takeover 
by  Russia?"  (Memorandum  from  Detroit  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters.  10/11/ 
66 :  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters,  to  Detroit  Field  Office  10/26/66. ) 

^"Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Cincinnati  Field  Office.  6/18/68. 

^  The  New  Mexico  Free  University  was  targeted  because  it  taught  such  courses 
as  "confrontation  politics"  and  "draft  counselling".  (Memorandum  from  FBI 
Headquarters  to  Albuquerque  Field  Office,  3/10/69.)  In  another  case,  an  "alter- 
nate" school  for  students  "aged  five  and  beyond",  which  was  co-sponsored  by  the 
ACLU,  was  targeted  because  "from  the  staff  being  assembled,  it  appears  that 
the  school  will  be  a  New  Left  venture  and  of  a  radical  revolutionary  nature". 
The  Bureau  contacted  a  confidential  source  in  the  bank  financing  the  school  so 
that  he  could  "take  steps  to  discourage  its  developments".  (Memorandum  from 
FBI  Headquarters  to  San  Antonio  Field  Office,  7/23/69. 

"See  e.g..  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Pittsburgh  Field  Office, 

**  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Minneapolis  Field  Office,  11/4/68. 


groups,  ''neutralize"  those  who  were  already  members,  and  prevent  or 
inhibit  the  expression  of  ideas. 

In  achieving  its  purported  goals  of  protecting  the  national  security 
and  preventing  violence,  the  Bureau  attempted  to  deter  membership  in 
the  target  groups.  As  the  supervisor  of  the  "Black  Nationalist"  CO 
INTELPRO  stated,  "Obviously,  you  are  going  to  prevent  violence  or  a 
greater  amount  of  violence  if  you  have  smaller  groups."  ^^  The  chief 
of  the  COINTELPRO  unit  agreed :  "We  also  made  an  effort  ...  to 
deter  recruitment  where  we  could.  This  was  done  with  the  view  that  if 
we  could  curb  the  organization,  we  could  curb  the  action  or  the  vio- 
lence within  the  organization."  -^  As  noted  above,  many  of  the  orga- 
nizations "curbed"  were  not  violent,  and  covert  attacks  on  group 
membership  contravened  the  First  Amendment's  guarantee  of  freedom 
to  associate. 

Nor  was  this  the  only  First  Amendment  right  violated  by  the 
Bureau,  In  addition  to  attempting  to  prevent  people  from  joining  or 
continuing  to  be  members  in  target  organizations,  the  Bureau  tried 
to  "deter  or  counteract"  what  it  called  "propaganda"  ~^ — the  expres- 
sion of  ideas  which  it  considered  dangerous.  Thus,  the  originating 
document  for  the  "Black  Nationalist"  COINTELPRO  noted  that 
"consideration  should  be  given  to  techniques  to  preclude"  leaders  of 
the  target  organizations  "from  spreading  their  philosophy  publicly 
or  through  various  mass  communication  media."  ^^ 

Instructions  to  "preclude"  free  speech  were  not  limited  to  "black 
nationalists;"  they  occurred  in  every  program.  In  the  New  Left  pro- 
gram, for  instance,  approximately  thirty-nine  percent  of  all  actions 
attempted  to  keep  targets  from  speaking,  teaching,  writing,  or 

The  cases  included  attempts  (sometimes  successful)  to  prompt  the 
firing  of  university  and  high  school  teachers ;  ^^  to  prevent  targets 
from  speaking  on  campus ;  ^°  to  stop  chapters  of  target  groups  from 

^*  Black  Nationalist  supervisor,  10/17/75,  p.  24. 

""  COINTELPRO  unit  chief,  10/12/75,  p.  54. 

^  COINTELPRO  unit  chief,  10/12/75.  p.  54. 

^'  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SAC's,  8/25/67. 

"  The  FBI  was  not  the  only  intelligence  agency  to  attempt  to  prevent  the 
propagation  of  ideas  with  which  it  disagreed,  but  it  was  the  only  one  to  do  so  in 
any  organized  way.  The  IRS  responded  to  Congressional  and  Administration 
pressure  by  targeting  political  organizations  and  dissidents  for  audit.  The  CIA 
improperly  obtained  the  tax  returns  of  Ramparts  magazine  after  it  learned 
that  the  magazine  intended  to  publish  an  article  revealing  Agency  support  of 
the  National  Student  Association.  The  CIA  saw  the  article  as  "an  attack  on  CIA 
in  particular  and  the  Administration  in  general."  (CIA  memorandum  re:  "IRS 
Briefing  on  Ramparts,"  2/2/67.) 

'^  For  instance,  a  high  school  English  teacher  was  targeted  for  inviting  two 
poets  to  attend  a  class  at  his  school.  The  poets  were  noted  for  their  efforts  in 
the  draft  resistance  movement.  The  Bureau  sent  anonymous  letters  to  two  local 
newspapers,  the  Board  of  Education,  and  the  school  board.  (Memorandum  from 
FBI  Headquarters  to  Pittsburgh  Field  Office.  6/19/69.) 

*■  In  one  case,  the  Bureau  attempted  to  stop  a  "Communist"  speaker  from 
appearing  on  campus.  The  sponsoring  organization  went  to  court  and  won  an 
order  permitting  the  lecture  to  proceed  as  scheduled ;  the  Bureau  then  investi- 
gnted  the  judge  who  issupd  the  order.  (Memorandum  from  Detroit  Field  Office  to 
FBI  Henfiquarters.  10/26/60;  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Detroit 
Field  Office.  10/27/60.  10 /2S/.  10/31/60;  Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner 
to  A.  H.  Belmont,  10/26/60. ) 


being  formed ;  ^^  to  prevent  the  distribution  of  books,  newspapers,  or 
periodicals ;  ^^  to  disrupt  or  cancel  news  conferences ;  ^^  to  interfere 
with  peaceful  demonstrations,  including  the  SCLC's  Poor  Peo- 
ple's Campaign  and  Washington  Spring  Project  and  most  of  the 
large  anti-war  marches ;  ^*  and  to  deny  facilities  for  meetings  or 

As  the  above  cases  demonstrate,  the  FBI  was  not  just  "chilling" 
free  speech,  but  squarely  attacking  it. 

The  tactics  used  against  Americans  often  risked  and  sometimes 
caused  serious  emotional,  economic,  or  physical  damage.  Actions  were 
taken  which  were  designed  to  break  up  marriages,  terminate  funding 
or  employment,  and  encourage  gang  warfare  between  violent  rival 
groups.  Due  process  of  law  forbids  the  use  of  such  covert  tactics 
whether  the  victims  are  innocent  law-abiding  citizens  or  members 
of  groups  suspected  of  involvement  in  violence. 

The  former  head  of  the  Domestic  Intelligence  Division  described 
counterintelligence  as  a  "rough,  tough,  dirty,  and  dangerous"  busi- 
ness.^*' His  description  was  accurate. 

One  technique  used  in  COINTELPEO  involved  sending  anony- 
mous letters  to  spouses  intended,  in  the  words  of  one  proposal,  to 
"produce  ill-feeling  and  possibly  a  lasting  distrust"  between  husband 
and  wife,  so  that  "concern  over  what  to  do  about  it"  would  distract 
the  target  from  "time  spent  in  the  plots  and  plans"  of  the  organiza- 
tion.^" The  image  of  an  agent  of  the  United  States  Government  scrawl- 
ing a  poison-pen  letter  to  someone's  wife  in  language  usually  reserved 
for  bathroom  walls  is  not  a  happy  one.  Nevertheless,  anonymous  let- 

^  The  Bureau  tried  on  several  occasions  to  prevent  the  formation  of  campus 
chapters  of  SDS  and  the  Young  Socialist  Alliance.  (See,  e.g.,  Memorandum  from 
San  Antonio  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  5/1/69 ;  Memorandum  from  FBI 
Headquarters  to  San  Antonio  Field  Office,  5/1/69.) 

®  For  example,  an  anonymous  letter  to  a  state  legislator  protested  the  distribu- 
tion on  campus  of  an  underground  newspaper's  "depravity",  (Memorandum  from 
Newark  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  5/23/69  ;  Memorandum  from  FBI  Head- 
quarters to  Newark  Field  Office,  6/4/69)  and  thhe  Bureau  anonymously  contacted 
the  landlady  of  premises  rented  by  two  "New  Left"  newspapers  in  an  attempt  to 
have  them  evicted.  (Memorandum  from  Los  Angeles  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquar- 
ters, 9/9/68 ;  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Los  Angeles  Field  Office, 

^For  example,  a  confidential  source  in  a  radio  station  was  contacted  in  two 
successful  attempts  to  cancel  news  conferences.  (Memorandum  from  FBI  Head- 
quarters to  Cleveland  Field  Office,  10/1/65 ;  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters 
to  Cleveland  Field  Office  10/4/65 ;  Memorandum  from  Boston  Field  Office  to  FBI 
Headquarters,  2/5/64 ;  Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C.  Sulli- 
van, 6/25/64.) 

"For  instance,  the  Bureau  used  the  standard  counterespionage  technique  of 
"disinformation"  against  demonstrators.  In  one  case,  the  Chicago  Field  Office 
duplicated  blank  forms  soliciting  housing  for  demonstrators  coming  to  Chicago 
for  the  Democratic  National  Convention,  filled  them  out  with  fictitious  names 
and  addresses  and  sent  them  to  the  organizers.  Demonstrators  reportedly  made 
"long  and  use'ess  Journeys  to  locate  these  addresses."  (Memorandum  from 
Chicago  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters.  9/9/68. )  The  same  program  was  carried 
out  by  the  Washington  Field  Office  when  housing  forms  were  distributed  for  dem- 
onstrators comine  to  the  1969  Presidential  inauerural  ceremonies.  (Memorandum 
from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Washington  Field  Office.  1/10/69.)  Army  inteUieence 
agents  occasionally  took  similar,  but  wholly  unauthorized  action,  see  Military 
Surveillance  Report :  Section  III :  "Domesttic  Radio  Monitoring  by  ASA :  1967- 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  San  Diego  field  office,  9/11/69. 

"^  Sullivan,  11/1/75,  pp.  97-98. 

^  Memorandum  from  St.  Louis  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  2/14/69. 


ters  were  sent  to,  amon(y  others,  a  Klansman's  wife,  informing  her 
that  her  husband  had  "taken  the  flesh  of  another  unto  himself,"  the 
other  person  being  a  woman  named  Ruby,  with  her  "hist  filled  eyes 
and  smart  aleck  figure;''  ^*  and  to  a  "Black  Nationalist's"  wife  saying 
that  her  husband  "been  maken  it  here"  with  other  women  in  his  or- 
ganization "and  than  he  gives  us  this  jive  bout  their  better  in  bed 
then  you."  ^^  A  husband  who  was  concerned  about  his  wife's  activities 
in  a  biracial  group  received  a  letter  which  started,  "Look  man  I  guess 
your  old  lady  doesn't  get  enough  at  home  or  she  wouldn't  be  shucking 
and  jiving  with  our  Black  Men"  in  the  group.*°  The  Field  Office  re- 
ported as  a  "tangible  result"  of  this  letter  that  the  target  and  her 
husband  separated.*^ 

The  Bureau  also  contacted  employers  and  funding  organizations  in 
order  to  cause  the  firing  of  the  targets  or  the  termination  of  their 
support.*-  For  example,  priests  who  allowed  their  churches  to  be  used 
for  the  Black  Panther  breakfast  programs  were  targeted,  and  anony- 
mous letters  were  sent  to  their  bishops;  *^  a  television  commentator 
who  expressed  admiration  for  a  Black  Nationalist  leader  and  criticized 
heavy  defense  spending  was  transferred  after  the  Bureau  contacted 
his  employer ;  **  and  an  employee  of  the  Urban  League  was  fired  after 
the  FBI  approached  a  "confidential  source"  in  a  foundation  which 
funded  the  League.*^ 

The  Bureau  also  encouraged  "gang  warfare"  between  violent  groups. 
An  FBI  memorandum  dated  November  25, 1968  to  certain  Field  Offices 
conducting  investigations  of  the  Black  Panther  Party  ordered  recip- 
ient offices  to  submit  "imaginative  and  hard-hitting  counterintelli- 
gence measures  aimed  at  crippling  the  BPP."  Proposals  were  to  be 
received  every  two  weeks.  Particular  attention  was  to  be  given  to 
capitalizing  upon  differences  between  the  Panthers  and  US,  Inc.  (an 
other  "Black  Nationalist"  group),  which  had  reached  such  propor- 
tions that  "it  is  taking  on  the  aura  of  gang  warfare  with  attendant 
threats  of  murder  and  reprisals.''  "^^^  On  May  26,  1970,  after  U.S.  orga- 
nization members  had  killed  four  BPP  members  and  members  of  each 
organization  had  been  shot  and  beaten  by  members  of  the  other,  the 
Field  Office  reported : 

Information  received  from  local  sources  indicate  [s]  that, 
in  general,  the  membership  of  the  Los  Angeles  BPP  is  physi- 
cally afraid  of  US  members  and  take  premeditated  precau- 
tions to  avoid  confrontations. 

^'  Memorandum  from  Richmond  Field  OflBce  to  FBI  Headquarters,  8/26/66. 

^  The  wife  who  received  this  letter  was  described  in  the  Field  Office  proposal 
as  "faithful  ...  an  intelligent  respectable  young  mother  who  is  active  in  the 
AME  Methodist  Church."  (Memorandum  from  St.  Louis  Field  Office  to  FBI  Head- 
quarters. 2/14/69. ) 

*"  Memorandum  from  St.  Louis  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  1/30/70. 

"  Memorandum  from  St.  Louis  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  6/19/70. 

*'  When  the  targets  were  teachers,  the  intent  was  to  prevent  the  propagation  of 
ideas.  In  the  case  of  other  employer  contacts,  the  purpose  was  to  stop  a  source 
of  funds. 

"^  Memorandum  from  New  Haven  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  11/12/69 ; 
memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  San  Diego  Field  Office.  9/9/69. 

**  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Cincinnati  Field  Office.  3/2S/69. 

"^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Pittsburgh  Field  Office,  .3/3/69. 

^*  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Baltimore  Field  Office,  11/25/68. 


In  view  of  their  anxieties,  it  is  not  presently  felt  that  the 
Los  Angeles  BPP  can  be  prompted  into  what  could  result 
in  an  internecine  struggle  between  the  two  organizations.  .  ,  . 

The  Los  Angeles  Division  is  aware  of  the  mutually  hostile 
feelings  harbored  between  the  organizations  and  the  first 
opportunity  to  capitalize  on  the  situation  will  be  maximized. 
It  is  intended  that  US  Inc.  will  be  appropriately  and  dis- 
creetly advised  of  the  time  and  location  of  BPP  activities  in 
order  that  the  two  organizations  might  be  brought  together 
and  thus  grant  nature  the  opportunity  to  take  her  due 
course^^  [Emphasis  added.] 

A  second  Field  Office  noted : 

Shootings,  beiatings  'and  a  high  degree  of  unrest  continues 
to  prevail  in  the  ghetto  area  of  Southeast  San  Diego.  Al- 
though no  specific  counterintelligence  action  can  be  credited 
with  contributing  to  this  overall  situation,  it  is  felt  that  a 
substantial  amount  of  the  mirest  is  directly  attributable  to 
this  program.^^ 

In  another  case,  an  anonymous  letter  was  sent  to  the  leader  of  the 
Blackstone  Rangers  (a  group,  according  to  the  Field  Offices'  proposal, 
"to  whom  violent-type  activity,  shooting,  and  the  like  are  second 
nature")  advising  him  that  "the  brothers  that  run  the  Panthers  blame 
you  for  blocking  their  thing  and  there's  supposed  to  be  a  hit  out  for 
you."  The  letter  was  intended  to  "intensify  the  degree  of  animosity 
between  the  tAvo  groups"  and  cause  "retaliatory  action  which  could 
disrupt  the  BPP  or  lead  to  reprisals  against  its  leadership."  *^ 

Another  technique  which  risked  serious  harm  to  the  target  was 
falsely  labeling  a  target  an  informant.  This  technique  was  used  in  all 
five  domestic  COINTELPRO.  When  a  member  of  a  nonviolent  group 
was  successfully  mislabeled  as  an  informant,  the  result  was  alienation 
from  the  group.*^  When  the  target  belonged  to  a  group  known  to  have 
killed  suspected  informants,  the  risk  was  substantially  more  serious. 
On  several  occasions,  the  Bureau  used  this  technique  against  members 
of  the  Black  Panther  Party ;  it  was  used  at  least  twice  after  FBI  docu- 
ments expressed  concern  over  the  possible  consequences  because  two 
members  of  the  BPP  had  been  murdered  as  suspected  informants.^" 

The  Bureau  recognized  that  some  techniques  used  in  COINTELPRO 
were  more  likely  than  others  to  cause  serious  physical,  emotional,  or 
economic  damage  to  the  targets.^^  Any  proposed  use  of  such  tech- 
niques— for    example,    encouraging    enmity    between    violent    rival 

*' Memorandum  from  Los  Angeles  Field  Office  to  FBI  headquarters,  5/26/70, 
pp.  1-2. 

*''  Memorandum  from  San  Diegv>  Field  Office  to  FBI  headquarters.  9/15/69. 

**  Memorandum  from  Chicago  Field  Office  to  FBI  headquarters,  1/12/69 ;  Mem- 
orandum from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Chicago  Field  Office,  1/30/69. 

*'  See,  e.g.,  Memorandum  from  San  Diego  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters, 

^  One  proposal  to  label  a  BPP  member  a  "pig  informer"  was  rejected  because 
the  Panthers  had  recently  murdered  two  suspected  informers.  The  victims  had 
not  been  targets  of  a  Bureau  effort  to  label  them  informants.  (Memorandum  from 
FBI  Headquarters  to  Cincinnati  Field  Office,  2/18/71.)  Nevertheless,  two  similar 
proposals  were  implemented  a  month  later,  (Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquar- 
ters to  Washington  Field  Office,  3/19/71 ;  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters 
to  Charlotte  Field  Office,  3/31/71.) 

^^  At  least  four  assaults — two  of  them  on  women — were  reported  as  "results" 
of  Bureau  actions.  (See  COINTELPRO  Report,  Section  IV :  Wartimes  Technique 
Brought  Home. ) 


groups,  falsely  labeling  group  members  as  informants,  and  mailing 
anonymous  letters  to  targets'  spouses  accusing  the  target  of  infidelity — 
was  scrutinized  carefully  by  headquarters  supervisory  personnel,  in 
an  attempt  to  balance  the  "greater  good"  to  be  achieved  by  the  pro- 
posal against  the  known  or  risked  harm  to  the  target.  If  the  "good" 
was  sufficient,  the  proposal  was  approved.  For  instance,  in  discussing 
anonymous  letters  to  spouses,  the  agent  who  supervised  the  New  Left 
COINTELPRO  stated: 

[Before  recommending  approval]  I  would  want  to  know 
what  you  want  to  get  out  of  this,  who  are  these  people.  If  it's 
somebody,  and  say  they  did  split  up,  what  would  accrue  from 
it  as  far  as  disrupting  the  New  Left  is  concerned  ?  Say  they 
broke  up,  what  then.  .  .  . 

[The  question  would  be]  is  it  worth  it  ?  ^^ 
Similarly,  with  regard  to  caiising  false  suspicions  that  an  individual 
was  an  informant,  the  chief  of  the  Racial  Intelligence  Section  stated : 
You  have  to  be  able  to  make  decisions  and  I  am  sure  that  la- 
beling somebody  as  an  informant,  that  you'd  want  to  make 
certain  that  it  served  a  good  purpose  before  you  did  it  and  not 
do  it  haphazardly.  ...  It  is  a  serious  thing  ...  As  far  as  I  am 
aware,  in  the  black  extremist  area,  by  using  that  technique,  no 
one  was  killed.  I  am  sure  of  that.^^^ 
This  official  was  asked  whether  the  fact  that  no  one  was  killed  was  the 
result  of  "luck  or  planning."  He  answered :  "Oh,  it  just  happened  that 
way,  I  am  sure."  ^^^ 

It  is  intolerable  in  a  free  society  that  an  agency  of  the  Government 
should  adopt  such  tactics,  whether  or  not  the  targets  are  involved  in 
criminal  activity.  The  "greater  good"  of  the  country  is  in  fact  served 
by  adherence  to  the  rule  of  law  mandated  by  the  Constitution. 

Sub-findmg  (d) 

The  sustained  use  of  such  tactics  by  the  FBI  in  an  attempt  to  de- 
stroy Dr.  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr.,  violated  the  law  and  fundamental 
human  decency. 

The  Committee  devoted  substantial  attention  to  the  FBI's  covert 
action  campaign  against  Dr.  Martin  Luther  King  because  it  demon- 
strates just  how  far  the  Government  could  go  in  a  secret  war  against 
one  citizen.  In  focusing  upon  Dr.  King,  however,  it  should  not  be 
forgotten  that  the  Bureau  carried  out  disruptive  activities  against 
hundreds  of  lesser-known  American  citizens.  It  should  also  be  borne 
in  mind  that  positive  action  on  the  part  of  high  Government  officials 
outside  the  FBI  might  have  prevented  what  occurred  in  this  case.^^ 

The  FBI's  claimed  justification  for  targeting  Dr.  King — alleged 
Communist  influence  on  him  and  the  civil  rights  movement — is  ex- 
amined elsewhere  in  this  report.^* 

^  New  Left  supervisor  10/28/75,  pp.  72,  74. 

'="  Moore,  11/3/75,  p.  62. 

^^  Moore,  11/3/75,  p.  64. 

®  See  pp.  275-277  and  205-206  of  this  Report  for  a  detailed  discussion  of  which 
officials  were  aware  or  sht>uld  have  been  aware  of  what  the  Bureau  was  doing 
to  Dr.  King  and  how  their  action  or  inaction  might  have  contributed  to  what 
went  on. 

^  See  Marin  Luther  King  Report,  Section  III,  "Concern  in  the  FBI  and  the 
Kennedy  Administration  Over  Allegations  of  Communist  Influence  in  the  Civil 
Rights  Movement  Increases,  and  the  FBI  Intensifies  the  Investigation :  Octo- 
ber 1962-October  1963."  See  generally,  Finding  on  Overbreadth,  p.  175. 


The  FBI's  campaign  against  Dr.  ISIartin  Luther  King,  Jr.  began  in 
December  1963,  four  months  after  the  famous  civil  rights  March  on 
Washington,^^  when  a  nine-hour  meeting  was  convened  at  FBI  Head- 
quarters to  discuss  A^arious  "avenues  of  approach  aimed  at  neutralizing 
King  as  an  effective  Negro  leader."  ^^  Following  the  meeting,  agents 
in  the  field  were  instructed  to  "continue  to  gather  information  con- 
cerning King's  personal  activities  ...  in  order  that  we  may  consider 
using  this  information  at  an  opportune  time  in  a  counterintelligence 
move  to  discredit  him."  ^^ 

About  two  weeks  after  that  conference,  FBI  agents  planted  a  micro- 
phone in  Dr.  King's  bedroom  at  the  Willard  Hotel  in  Washington, 
D.C.^^  During  the  next  two  years,  the  FBI  installed  at  least  fourteen 
more  "bugs"  in  Dr.  King's  hotel  rooms  across  the  countrj'.^^  Physical 
and  photographic  surveillances  accompanied  some  of  the  microphones 

The  FBI  also  scrutinized  Dr.  King's  tax  returns,  monitored  his 
financial  affairs,  and  even  tried  to  determine  whether  he  had  a  secret 
foreign  bank  account.®^ 

In  late  1964,  a  "sterilized"  tape  was  prepared  in  a  manner  that  would 
prevent  attribution  to  the  FBI  and  was  "anonymously"  mailed  to  Dr. 
King  just  before  he  received  the  Nobel  Peace  Prize.®^  Enclosed  in  the 
package  with  the  tape  was  an  unsigned  letter  which  warned  Dr.  King, 

■^  The  August  1963  march  on  Washington  was  the  occasion  of  Dr.  Kings  "I 
Have  a  Dream"  speech,  on  the  steps  of  the  Lincoln  Memorial.  (See  memorandum 
from  William  C.  Sullivan  to  Alan  Belmont,  8/30/63,  characterizing  the  speech  as 
"demagogic". ) 

*•  Memorandum  from  William  C.  Sullivan  to  Alan  Belmont,  12/24/63.  Although 
FBI  officials  were  making  derogatory  references  to  Dr.  King  and  passing  personal 
information  about  Dr.  King  to  their  superiors.  (Memorandum  from  Hoover  to 
Deputy  Attorney  General  Katzenbach,  8/13/63.)  Prior  to  December  1963,  the 
Committee  had  discovered  no  document  reflecting  a  strategy  to  deliberately 
discredit  him  prior  to  the  memorandum  relating  to  the  December  1963  meeting. 

^^  Memorandum  from  William  C.  Sullivan  to  Alan  Belmont,  12/24/63. 

^The  microphone  was  installed  on  January  5,  1964  (Memorandum  from 
William  C.  Sullivan  to  Alan  Belmont,  l/6/(>4.),  just  days  after  Dr.  King's  pic- 
ture appeared  on  the  cover  of  Time  magazine  as  "Man  of  the  Year."  (Time 
Magazine,  January  3,  1964.)  Reading  of  the  Time  magazine  award,  the  Director 
had  written,  "They  had  to  dig  deep  in  the  garbage  to  come  up  with  this  one." 
(Note  on  UP  release,  12/29/63.) 

*'  FBI  memoranda  make  clear  that  microphones  were  one  of  the  technique!* 
being  used  in  the  effort  to  obtain  information  about  Dr.  King's  private  life. 
(Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C.  Sullivan  1/28/64.)  The  mi- 
crophones were  installed  at  the  following  places:  Washington:  Willard  Hotel 
(Jan.  1964)  ;  Miltvavkee:  Shroeder  Hotel  (Jan.  1964)  ;  Honolulu:  Hilton  Hawai- 
ian Village  (Feb.  1964)  ;  Detroit:  Statler  Hotel  (March  1964)  ;  Sacramento: 
Senator  Motel  (Apr.  1964)  ;  New  York  Citu:  Park  Sheraton  Hotel  (Jan.  1965). 
Americana  Hotel  (Jan.  and  Nov.  1965),  Sheraton  Atlantic  Hotel  (May  1965), 
Astor  Hotel   (Oct.  1965),  New  York  Hilton  Hotel    (Oct.  1965). 

*"  FBI  summary  memorandum,  10/3/75  :  memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner 
to  William  C.  Sullivan,  3/26/64 ;  memorandum  from  William  C.  Sullivan  to  Alan 
Belmont,  2/22/64 ;  and  unsigned  memorandum,  2/28/64. 

"^Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C.  Sullivan.  3/27/64; 
memorandum  from  New  York  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  6/2/64;  memo- 
randum from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  Sullivan,  7/14/65. 

^  Sullivan  11/1/75.  pp.  104-105.  staff  summary  of  a  .special  agent  interview, 
7/25/75.  Three  days  before  the  tape  was  mailed.  Director  Hoover  had  publicly 
branded  Dr.  King  "the  most  notorious  liar  in  the  country"  and  Dr.  King  had 
responded  with  a  criticism  of  the  Bureau.  (Memorandum  from  Cartba  DeLoach 
to  John  Mohr,  11/18/64 ;  telegram  from  Martin  Luther  King  to  J.  Edgar  Hoover 


"your  end  is  approaching  .  .  .  you  are  finished."  The  letter  intimated 
that  the  tape  might  be  publicly  released,  and  closed  with  the  follow- 
ing message: 

King,  there  is  only  one  thing  left  for  you  to  do.  You  know 
what  it  is.  You  have  just  34  days  in  which  to  do  (this  exact 
number  has  been  selected  for  a  specific  reason,  it  has  definite 
practical  significance) .  You  are  done.  There  is  but  one  way  out 
for  you  .  .  .^^ 

Dr.  King's  associates  have  said  he  interpreted  the  message  as  an  effort 
to  induce  him  to  commit  suicide.^* 

At  about  the  same  time  that  it  mailed  the  "sanitized"  tape,  the  FBI 
was  also  apparently  offering  tapes  and  transcripts  to  newsmen.''^  Later 
when  civil  rights  leaders  Eoy  Wilkins  and  James  Farmer  went  to 
Washington  to  persuade  Bureau  officials  to  halt  the  FBI's  discredit- 
ing efforts,*^'^  they  were  told  that  "if  King  want[s]  war  we  [are]  pre- 
pared to  give  it  to  him."  ^^ 

Shortly  thereafter,  Dr.  King  went  to  Europe  to  receive  the  Nobel 
Peace  Prize.  The  Bureau  tried  to  undermine  ambassadorial  receptions 
in  several  of  the  countries  he  visited,^^  and  when  he  returned  to  the 

"^  This  paragraph  appears  in  a  document  in  the  form  of  a  letter  which  the  FBI 
has  supplied  to  the  Committee  and  which  the  Bureau  maintains  was  discovered  in 
the  files  of  former  Assistant  Director  Sullivan.  (FBI  memorandum  to  the  Select 
Committee,  9/18/75.)  Sullivan  stated  that  he  did  not  recall  the  letter  and  sug- 
gested that  it  may  have  been  "planted"  in  his  files  by  his  former  colleagues. 
(Sullivan  11/1/75,  p.  104.)  Congressman  Andrew  Young  has  informed  the  Com- 
mittee that  an  identical  paragraph  was  contained  in  the  letter  which  was 
actually  received  by  Dr.  King  with  the  tape,  and  that  the  letter  the  committee 
had,  supplied  by  the  Bureau,  appears  to  be  an  "early  draft."  (Young,  2/19/76, 
p.  36.) 

Sullivan  said  that  the  purpose  of  sending  the  tape  was  "to  blackmail  King  into 
silence  ...  to  stop  him  from  criticising  Hoover;  ...  to  diminish  his  stature. 
In  other  words,  if  it  caused  a  break  between  Coretta  and  Martin  Luther  King,  that 
would  diminish  his  stature.  It  would  weaken  him  as  a  leader."  (Sullivan, 
11/1/75,  11/26/75,  p.  152.) 

**  Young,  2/19/76,  p.  37,  Time  magazine  had  reported  earlier  in  the  year  that 
Dr.  King  had  attempted  suicide  twice  as  a  child.  [Time  magazine,  Jan.  4,  1964.] 

^  Several  newsmen  have  informed  the  Committee  that  they  were  offered  this 
kind  of  material  or  that  they  were  aware  that  such  material  was  available.  Some 
have  refused  to  identify  the  individuals  who  made  the  offers  and  others  have 
said  they  could  not  recall  their  identities.  Former  FBI  officials  have  denied  that 
tapes  or  transcripts  were  offered  to  the  press  (e.g.,  DeLoach  testimony,  11/26/75, 
p.  152)  and  the  Bureau  maintains  that  their  files  contain  no  documents  reflecting 
that  this  occurred. 

"  Staff  interviews  of  Roy  Wilkins,  11/23/75,  and  James  Farmer,  11/13/75. 

*'  Memorandum  from  Cartha  DeLoach  to  John  Mohr,  11/27/64 ;  staff  interview 
of  James  Farmer,  11/13/75.  Three  days  after  Wilkins'  meeting  with  DeLoach, 
Dr.  King  asked  to  see  the  Director,  telling  the  press  "the  time  has  come  to  bring 
this  controversy  to  an  end."  (UPI  release,  12/1/64)  Dr.  King  and  Hoover  met  the 
following  day;  the  meeting  was  described  as  "amicable."  (Memoranda  from 
Cartha  DeLoach  to  John  Mohr,  12/1/64  and  12/2/64.)  Despite  the  "amicable" 
meeting,  the  Bureau's  campaign  against  Dr.  King  continued. 

''Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C.  Sullivan,  11/30/64; 
memorandum  from  Legat  to  FBI  Headquarters,  12/10/64.  Steps  were  also  taken 
to  thwart  a  meeting  which  Dr.  King  was  planning  to  have  with  a  foreign  leader 
during  this  same  trip  (Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C. 
Sullivan.  11/10/64;  memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  Legat,  11/10/64), 
and  to  influence  a  pending  USIA  decision  to  send  Dr.  King  on  a  ten-day  lecture 
trip  in  Africa  after  receiving  the  Nobel  Pris^e.  (Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baum- 
gardner to  William  C.  Sullivan,  11/12/64.) 


United  States,  took  steps  to  diminish  supjDort  for  a  banquet  and  a 
special  "day"  being  planned  in  his  honor.''^ 

The  Bureau's  actions  against  Dr.  King  included  attempts  to  prevent 
him  from  meeting  with  world  leaders,  receiving  honors  or  favorable 
publicity,  and  gaining  financial  support.  When  the  Bureau  learned 
of  a  possible  meeting  between  Dr.  King  and  the  Pope  in  August  1964, 
the  FBI  asked  Cardinal  Spellman  to  try  to  arrange  a  cancellation  of 
the  audience.'^"  Discovering  that  two  schools  (Springfield  College  and 
Marquette  University)  were  going  to  honor  Dr.  King  with  special 
degrees  in  the  spring  of  1964,  Bureau  agents  tried  to  convince  officials 
at  the  schools  to  rescind  their  plans."  And  when  the  Bureau  learned 
in  October  1966  that  the  Ford  Foundation  might  grant  three  million 
dollars  to  Dr.  King's  Southern  Christian  Leadership  Conference,  they 
asked  a  former  FBI  agent  who  was  a  high  official  at  the  Ford  Motor 
Company  to  try  to  block  the  award." 

A  magazine  was  asked  not  to  publish  favorable  articles  about  him.^^ 
Keligious  leaders  and  institutions  were  contacted  to  undermine  their 
support  of  him.^*  Press  conference  questions  were  prepared  and  dis- 

'"  The  Bureau  was  in  touch  with  Atlanta  Constitution  publisher  Ralph  McGill, 
and  tried  to  obtain  the  assistance  of  the  Constitution's  editor,  Eugene  Patterson, 
to  undermine  the  banquet.  (Memorandum  from  William  C.  Sullivan  to  Alan 
Belmont,  12/21/64;  staff  summary  of  Eugene  Patterson  interview,  4/30/75.)  A 
governor's  assistance  was  sought  in  the  effort  to  "water  down"  the  "King  day." 
(Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C.  Sullivan,  3/2/65.) 

'"'  The  Bureau  had  decided  it  would  be  "astounding"  for  Dr.  King  to  have  an 
audience  with  the  Pope  and  that  plans  for  any  such  meeting  should  be  "nipped 
in  the  bud."  (Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C.  Sullivan, 
8/31/64.)  When  the  Bureau  failed  to  block  the  meeting  and  the  press  reported 
that  the  audience  was  about  to  occur,  the  Director  noted  that  this  was  "astound- 
ing." (FBI  Director's  notation  on  UPI  release,  9/18/64).  FBI  officials  took 
immediate  steps  to  determine  "if  there  could  possibly  have  been  a  slip-up." 
(Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C.  Sullivan,  9/17/64.) 

"  The  Bureau  had  decided  that  it  would  be  "shocking  indeed  that  the  pos- 
sibility exists  that  King  may  receive  an  Honorary  Degree  from  the  same  institu- 
tion (Marquette)  which  honored  the  Director  with  such  a  Degree  in  1950."  With 
respect  to  Springfield  College,  where  the  Director  had  also  been  offered  an  honor- 
ary degree,  the  Bureau's  decision  about  whom  to  contact  included  the  observation 
that  "it  would  not  appear  to  be  prudent  to  attempt  to  deal  with"  the  President 
of  the  college  because  he  "is  very  close  to  Sargent  Shriver."  (Memorandum  from 
F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C.  Sullivan,  3/4/64 ;  and  4/2/64 ;  memorandum 
from  Cartha  DeLoach  to  John  Mohr,  4/8/64. ) 

'*  Memorandum  from  Cartha  DeLoach  to  Clyde  Tolson,  10/25/66  and  10/26/66. 
At  about  the  same  time,  the  Bureau  leaked  a  story  to  the  press  about  Dr.  King's 
intention  to  seek  financial  assistance  from  Teamsters  Union  President  James  R. 
Hoffa  because  "[d]isclo.sure  would  be  mutually  embarrassing  to  both  men  and 
probably  cause  King's  quest  for  badly  needed  funds  to  fail  in  this  instance." 
(Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C.  Sullivan,  10/28/66.) 

The  Bureau  also  tried  to  block  the  National  Science  Foundation  (NSF)  from 
dealing  with  the  SCLC.  "It  is  incredible  that  an  outfit  such  as  the  SCLC  should 
be  utilized  for  the  purpose  of  recruiting  Negroes  to  take  part  in  the  NSF  program, 
particularly  where  funds  of  the  U.S.  Government  are  involved."  (Memorandum 
from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C.  Sullivan,  12/17/64.) 

''Hiemorandum  from  Special  Agent  to  Cartha  DeLoach,  11/3/64. 

'*  "It  is  shocking  indeed  that  King  continues  to  be  honored  by  religious  groups." 
(Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C.  Sullivan.  2/1/65.)  Contacts 
were  made  with  representatives  of  the  National  Council  of  Churches  of  Christ, 
the  Baptist  World  Alliance,  the  American  Church  in  Paris,  and  Catholic  Church. 
(Memoranda  from  William  C.  Sullivan  to  Alan  Belmont,  6/12/64,  12/15/64  and 
2/16/64 ;  memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C.  Sullivan.  2/18/66 : 
memorandum  from  Chicago  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  2/24/66,   and 


tributed  to  "friendly"  journalists."  And  plans  were  even  discussed  for 
sabotaging  his  political  campaign  in  the  event  he  decided  to  run  for 
national  office.'^^  An  SCLC  employee  was  "anonymously"  informed 
that  the  SCLC  was  trying  to  get  rid  of  her  "so  that  the  Bureau 
[would  be]  in  a  position  to  ca})italize  on  [her]  bitterness."  ^^  Bureau 
officials  contacted  members  of  Congress/^  and  special  "off  the  record" 
testimony  was  prepared  for  the  Director's  use  before  the  House 
Appropriations  Committee.^" 

The  "neutralization"  program  continued  until  Dr.  King's  death.  As 
late  as  INIarch  1968,  FBI  agents  were  being  instructed  to  neutralize 
Dr.  King  because  he  might  become  a  "messiah"  who  could  "unify, 
and  electrify,  the  militant  black  nationalist  movement"  if  he  were  to 
"abandon  his  supposed  'obedience'  to  'white  liberal  doctrines'  (non- 
violence) and  embrace  black  nationalism."  ^^  Steps  were  taken  to  sub- 
vert the  "Poor  People's  Campaign"  which  Dr.  King  was  planning  to 
lead  in  the  spring  of  1968.^-  Even  after  Dr.  King's  death,  agents  in 
the  field  were  proposing  methods  for  harassing  his  widow,^^  and  Bu- 
reau officials  were  trying  to  prevent  his  birthday  from  becoming  a 
national  holiday.^* 

The  actions  taken  against  Dr.  King  are  indefensible.  They  repre- 
sent a  sad  episode  in  the  dark  history  of  covert  actions  directed  against 
law  abiding  citizens  by  a  law  enforcement  agency. 

memorandum  from  Legat,  Paris,  to  FBI  Headquarters,  4/14/66  and  5/9/66.) 
The  Director  did  disapprove  a  suggestion  that  religious  leaders  be  permitted  "to 
listen  to  sources  we  have"  (FBI  Director's  note  on  memorandum  from  Jones  to 
Thomas  Bishop,  12/8/64. ) 

'^  Memorandum  from  Charles  Brennan  to  William  C.  Sullivan,  3/8/67.  The  Bu- 
reau also  disseminated  to  "friendly  media  sources"  a  newspaper  article  which 
was  critical  of  Dr.  King's  position  on  the  Vietnam  war.  The  stated  purposes 
were  to  "publicize  King  as  a  traitor  to  bis  country  and  his  race,"  and  to  "re- 
duce his  income,"  (memorandum  from  George  C.  Moore  to  William  C.  Sullivan, 
10/18/67.)  "Background  information"  was  also  given  to  at  least  one  wire  serv- 
ice  (memorandum  from  Sizoo  to  William  C.  Sullivan,  5/24/65). 

™  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  New  York  Field  Office  5/18/67.  There 
has  been  rumors  about  a  "peace  ticket"  headed  by  Dr.  King  and  Benjamin 

'*  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  New  York  Field  Office,  4/13/64 ; 
memorandum  from  New  York  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  4/2/64. 

"  Memorandum  from  Cartha  DeLoach  to  John  Mohr,  8/14/65 ;  memorandum 
from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C.  Sullivan,  1/10/67. 

^  Memorandum  from  F.  J.  Baumgardner  to  William  C.  Sullivan,  1/22/64 ; 
memorandum  from  Nicholas  Callahan  to  John  Mohr,  1/31/64.  On  one  occasion 
the  testimony  leaked  to  other  members  of  Congress,  prompting  the  Director  to 
note.  "Someone  on  Rooney's  Committee  certainly  betrayed  the  secrecy  of  the 
'oflf  the  record'  testimony  I  gave  re:  King."  (Director's  note  on  memorandum 
from  Cartha  DeLoach  to  John  Mohr,  3/16/64.) 

^  Memorandum  from  FBI  Headquarters  to  all  SACs,  3/4/68. 

*^  Memorandum  from  George  C.  Moore  to  William  C.  Sullivan,  3/26/68. 

^Memorandum  from  Atlanta  Field  Office  to  FBI  Headquarters,  3/18/69. 

^  Memoranda  :  From  George  C.  Moore  to  William  C.  Sullivan.  1/17/69 :  and 
from  Jones  to  Thomas  Bishop,  3/18/69.  Steps  were  even  taken  to  prevent  the 
issuance  of  "commemorative  medals."  (Memorandum  from  Jones  to  Thomas 
Bishop,  5/22/68.) 


Major  Finding 

The  Committee  finds  that  information  has  been  collected  and  dis- 
seminated in  order  to  serve  the  purely  political  interests  of  an  intel- 
ligence agency  or  the  administration,  and  to  influence  social  policy 
and  political  action. 


(a)  "White  House  officials  have  requested  and  obtained  politically 
useful  information  from  the  FBI,  including  information  on  the  activi- 
ties of  political  opponents  or  critics. 

(b)  In  some  cases,  political  or  personal  information  was  not  specifi- 
cally requested,  but  was  nevertheless  collected  and  disseminated  to  ad- 
ministration officials  as  part  of  investigations  they  had  requested. 
Neither  the  FBI  nor  the  recipients  differentiated  in  these  cases  be- 
tween national  security  or  law  enforcement  information  and  purely 
political  intelligence. 

(c)  The  FBI  has  also  volunteered  information  to  Presidents  and 
their  staffs,  without  having  been  asked  for  it,  sometimes  apparently  to 
curry  favor  with  the  current  administration.  Similarly,  the  FBI  has 
assembled  intelligence  on  its  critics  and  on  political  figures  it  believed 
might  influence  public  attitudes  or  Congressional  support. 

(d)  The  FBI  has  also  used  intelligence  as  a  vehicle  for  covert  efforts 
to  influence  social  policy  and  political  action. 

Elahoration  of  Findings 

The  FBI's  ability  to  gather  information  without  effective  restraints 
gave  it  enormous  power.  That  power  was  inevitably  attractive  to  politi- 
cians, who  could  use  information  on  opponents  and  critics  for  their 
own  advantage,  and  was  also  an  asset  to  the  Bureau,  which  depended 
on  politicians  for  support.  In  the  political  arena,  as  in  other  facets  of 
American  life  touched  by  the  intelligence  community,  the  existence  of 
unchecked  power  led  to  its  abuse. 

By  providing  politically  useful  information  to  the  Wliite  House 
and  congressional  supporters,  sometimes  on  demand  and  some- 
times gratuitously,  the  Bureau  buttressed  its  own  position  in  the 
political  structure.  At  the  same  time,  the  widespread — and  accurate — 
belief  in  Congress  and  the  administration  that  the  Bureau  had  avail- 
able to  it,  derogatory  information  on  politicians  and  critics  created 
what  the  late  Majority  Leader  of  the  House  of  Representatives,  Hale 
Boggs,  called  a  "fear"  of  the  Bureau : 

Freedom  of  speech,  freedom  of  thought,  freedom  of  action  for 
men  in  public  life  can  be  compromised  quite  as  effectively  by 
the  fear  of  surveillance  as  by  the  fact  of  sur\^eillance.^ 

^  Remarks  by  Rep.  Hale  Boggs,  4/22/71,  Congressional  Record,  Vol.  117,  Part 
9,  p.  11565. 


-786  O  -  76  -  le 


Information  gathered  and  disseminated  to  the  White  House  ranged 
from  purely  political  intelligence,  such  as  lobbying  efforts  on  bills  an 
administration  opposed  and  the  strategy  of  a  delegate  challenge  at  a 
national  political  convention,  to  "tidbits"  about  the  activities  of  poli- 
ticiaiis  and  public  figures  which  the  Bureau  believed  "of  interest"  to 
the  recipients. 

Such  participation  in  political  machinations  by  an  intelligence 
agency  is  totally  improper.  Responsibility  for  what  amounted  to  a 
betrayal  of  the  public  trust  in  the  integrity  of  the  FBI  must  be  shared 
between  the  officials  who  requested  such  information  and  those  who 
provided  it. 

The  Bureau's  collection  and  dissemination  of  politically  useful  in- 
formation was  not  colored  by  partisan  considerations ;  rather  its  effect 
was  to  entrench  the  Bureau's  own  position  in  the  political  structure, 
regardless  of  wliich  party  was  in  power  at  the  time.  However,  the 
Bureau  also  used  its  powers  to  serve  ideological  purposes,  attempting 
covertly  to  influence  social  policy  and  political  action. 

In  its  efforts  to  "protect  society,"  the  FBI  engaged  in  activities 
which  necessarily  affected  the  processes  by  which  American  citizens 
make  decisions.  In  doing  so,  it  distorted  and  exaggerated  facts,  made 
use  of  the  mass  media,  and  attacked  the  leadership  of  groups  which 
it  considered  threats  to  the  social  order. 

Law  enforcement  officers  are,  of  course,  entitled  to  state  their  opin- 
ions about  what  choices  the  people  should  make  on  contemporary  social 
and  political  issues.  The  First  Amendment  guarantees  their  right  to 
enter  the  marketplace  of  ideas  and  persuade  their  fellow  citizens  of 
the  correctness  of  those  opinions  by  making  speeches,  writing  books, 
and,  within  certain  statutory  limits,  supporting  political  candidates. 
The  problem  lies  not  in  the  open  expression  of  views,  but  in  the  covert 
use  of  power  or  position  of  trust  to  influence  others.  This  abuse  is 
aggravated  by  the  agency's  control  over  information  on  which  the 
public  and  its  elected  representatives  rely  to  make  decisions. 

The  essence  of  democracy  is  the  belief  that  the  people  must  be  free 
to  make  decisions  about  matters  of  public  policy.  The  FBI's  ac- 
tions interfered  with  the  democratic  process,  because  attitudes  within 
the  Bureau  toward  social  change  led  to  the  belief  that  such  inton^en- 
tion  formed  a  part  of  its  obligation  to  protect  society.  When  a  govern- 
mental agency  clandestinely  tries  to  impose  its  views  of  what  is  right 
upon  the  American  people,  then  the  democratic  process  is  undermined. 

Si/hftidinQ  (a) 

AMiite  House  officials  have  requested  and  obtained  politically  use- 
ful information  from  the  FBI.  including  personal  life  information 
on  the  activities  of  political  opponents  or  critics. 

Presidents  and  "Wliite  House  aides  have  asked  the  FBI  to  provide 
political  or  personal  information  on  opponents  and  critics,  including 
"name  checks"  of  Bureau  files.^  They  have  also  asked  the  Bureau  to 

^  A  "name  cheek"  is  not  an  investigation,  but  a  search  of  existing:  FBI  files 
throneh  the  use  of  the  Bureau's  comprehensive  general  name  inrlpx.  Requests 
for  FBI  "name  checks"  were  peculiarly  damaging  because  no  new  investigation 
was  done  to  verify  allegations  stored  away  for  years  in  Bureau  files.  A  former 
FBI  official  responsible  for  compliance  with  such  requests  said  that  the  Bu- 
reau "answered  ...  by  furnishing  the  White  House  every  piece  of  information 
In  our  files  on  the  individuals  requested."  Depo.sition  of  Thomas  E.  Bishop, 
former  Assistant  Director,  Crime  Records  Division,  12/2/75,  p.  144.) 


conduct  electronic  surveillance  or  more  limited  investigations  of  such 
persons.  The  FBI  appears  to  have  complied  unquestioningly  with 
these  requests,  despite  occasional  internal  doubts  about  their  pro- 

Precedents  for  certain  political  abuses  go  back  to  the  very  outset 
of  the  domestic  intelligence  program.  In  1940  the  FBI  complied  with 
President  Roosevelt's  request  to  file  the  names  of  people  sending 
critical  telegrams  to  the  "\^niite  House.*  There  is  evidence  of  improper 
electronic  sui'veillance  for  the  White  House  in  the  1940s.^  And  an  aide 
to  President  Eisenhower  asked  the  FBI  to  conduct  a  questionable 
name  check.*'  In  1962,  the  FBI  complied  unquestioningly  with  a  re- 
quest from  Attorney  General  Kennedy  to  interview  a  steel  executive 
and  several  reporters  Avho  had  written  stories  about  a  statement  by 
the  executive.'  As  part  of  an  investigation  of  foreign  lobbying  efforts 
on  sugar  quota  legislation  in  1961  and  1962,  Attorney  General  Ken- 
nedy requested  wiretaps  on  a  Congressional  aide,  three  executive 
officials,  and  two  American  lobbyists,  including  a  Washington  law 

Nevertheless,  the  political  misuse  of  the  FBI  under  the  Johnson 
and  Nixon  administrations  appears  to  have  been  more  extensive 
than  in  previous  years. 

Under  the  Johnson  administration,  the  FBI  was  used  to  gather 
and  report  political  intelligence  on  the  administration's  partisan  op- 
ponents in  the  last  days  of  the  1964  and  1968  Presidential  election 

^  Former  FBI  executive  Cartha  DeLoacli,  who  was  FBI  liaison  witli  the  White 
House  during  part  of  the  Johnson  administration,  has  stated,  "I  simply  followed 
Mr.  Hoover's  instructions  in  complying  with  "White  House  requests  and  I  never 
asked  any  questions  of  the  White  House  as  to  what  they  did  with  the  material 
afterwards."  (DeLoach  deposition,  11/2.5/75,  p.  28.)  On  at  least  one  occasion, 
when  a  A^liite  House  aide  indicated  that  President  Johnson  did  not  want  any 
record  made  by  the  FBI  of  a  request  for  a  "run-down"  on  the  links  between 
Robert  Kennedy  and  officials  involved  in  the  Bobby  Baker  investigation,  the 
Bureau  disregarded  the  order.  DeLoach  stated  that  he  "ignored  the  specific 
instructions"  in  this  instance  because  he  "felt  that  any  instructions  we  received 
from  t>ie  White  House  should  be  a  matter  of  record."  (DeLoach  deposition, 
11/25/75,  p.  89.) 

Former  Assistant  Director  Bishop  stated,  "Who  am  I  to  ask  the  President  of 
the  United  States  what  statutory  basis  he  has  if  he  wants  to  know  what  in- 
formation is  in  the  files  of  the  FBI?"  It  was  a  "proper  dis.semination"  because 
it  was  "not  a  dissemination  outside  the  executive  branch"  and  because  there  was 
"no  law,  no  policy  of  the  Department  of  .Justice,  ...  no  statute  of  the  United 
States  that  says  that  was  not  i)ermissible."  But  even  if  there  had  been  a  statute 
laying  down  standards,  BLshop  said  "it  wouldn't  have  made  a  bit  of  difference 
.  .  .  wlien  the  Attorney  General  or  the  President  asks  for  it." 

Bishop  recalled  from  his  "own  knowledge"  instances  where  President  Kennedy, 
•Johnson,  and  Nixon  had  "called  over  and  asked  Mr.  Hoover  for  a  memo  on 
certain  people."  (Bishop  deposition,  12/2/75,  pp.  153-154.)  _ 

*  Memoranda  from  Stephen  Early,  Secretary  to  the  President,  to  Hoover,  5/21/40 
and  6/17/40. 

"  FBI  memorandum  to  Senate  Select  Committee,  3/26/76 ;  See  pp.  36-37. 
'  Memorandum  from  J.  Edgar  Hoover  to  Thomas  E.  Stephens.  Secretary  to  the 
President.  4/13/54. 

■^  Tourtnev  Evans  deposition,  12/1/75,  p.  39. 

*  See  pp.  64-65.  The  tap  aiithorized  by  Attorney  General  Kennedy  on  another 
high  executive  official  was  not  related  to  political  considerations,  nor  appar- 
enti.v  was  the  tap  authorized  by  Attorney  General  Katzenbach  in  1965  on  the 
editor  of  an  anti-communist  newsletter  who  had  published  a  book  alleging 
impropriety  by  Robert  Kennedy  a  year  earlier. 


campaio^ns.  In  the  closing  days  of  the  1964  campaign,  Presidential 
aide  Bill  Moyers  asked  the  Bureau  to  conduct  "name  checks"  on  all 
persons  employed  in  Senator  Goldwater's  Senate  office,  and  informa- 
tion on  two  staff  members  was  reported  to  the  White  House.^  Simi- 
larly, in  the  last  two  weeks  of  the  1968  campaign,  the  Johnson  White 
House  requested  an  investigation  (including  indirect  electronic  sur- 
veillance and  direct  physical  surveillance)  of  Mrs.  Anna  Chennault,  a 
prominent  Republican  leader,  and  her  relationships  with  certain  South 
Vietnamese  ofRcials.^^  This  investigation  also  included  an  FBI  check 
of  Vice  Presidential  candidate  Spiro  Agnew's  long  distance  telephone 
call  records,  apparently  at  the  personal  request  of  President 

Another  investigation  for  the  Johnson  White  House  involved  ex- 
ecutive branch  officials  who  took  part  in  the  criminal  investigation 
of  former  Johnson  Senate  aide  Bobby  Baker.  When  Baker's  trial 
began  in  1967,  it  was  revealed  that  one  of  the  government  witnesses 
had  been  "wired"  to  record  his  conversations  with  Baker.  Presidential 
aide  Marvin  Watson  told  the  FBI  that  Johnson  was  quite  "exercised," 
and  the  Bureau  was  ordered  to  conduct  a  discreet  "nm-down"  on  the 
former  head  of  the  Justice  Department's  Criminal  Division  and  four 
Treasury  Department  officials  who  had  been  responsible  for  "wiring" 

®  Memorandum  from  Hoover  to  Moyers,  10/27/64,  cited  in  FBI  summary 
memorandum.  1/31/75. 

"  Bureau  files  indicate  that  the  apparent  "reason"  for  the  "White  House 
interest"  was  to  determine  "whether  the  South  Vietnamese  had  secretly  been 
in  touch  with  supporters  of  Presidential  candidate  Nixon,  possibly  through 
Mrs.  Chennault,  as  President  Johnson  was  apparently  suspicious  that  the  South 
Vietnamese  were  trying  to  sabotage  his  peace  negotiations  in  the  hope  that 
Nixon  would  win  the  election  and  then  take  a  harder  line  towards  North 
Vietnam."  (FBI  memorandum,  subject:  Mrs.  Anna  Chennault,  2/1/75.)  The 
FBI  has  claimed  that  its  investigation  of  Mrs.  Chennault  was  "consistent  with 
FBI  responsibilities  to  determine  if  her  activities  were  in  violation  of  certain 
provisions  of  the  Fo